Modern societies and the internet are dependent on the flawless functioning of the submarine fiber-optic cable network lying at the bottom of oceans and seas, handling 99 percent of international data traffic. Besides offering the shortest distance and thus the fastest connections between Northern Europe, North America and East Asia, the planned trans-Arctic submarine fiber-optic cable systems could bring long-awaited diversity and robustness into an overconcentrated global infrastructure vulnerable to natural and man-made hazards. However, the uncertainties connected with the development of a new route and landing sites, in combination with factors related to geopolitical tensions, have already delayed or terminated several projects.
This webinar focuses on recent developments in ongoing projects and assesses reasons behind the failures of projects that have ceased to exist. While approaching the trans-Arctic cable projects mainly from the Nordic and Japanese perspectives, with a focus on overall economic feasibility, security and academic cooperation, attention is also paid to the potential role this kind of infrastructure could play in the small Arctic communities hosting cable landing points along the route.
Juha Saunavaara, Associate Professor, Hokkaido University Arctic Research Center (Social Science and Humanities Research Group)
Mirva Salminen, Assistant Professor in Societal Security, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway (Research Group ‘Risk, Crisis, and Societal Security’ (RCSS))
Bart Gaens, Leading Researcher, FIIA