In three years, satellite Internet will be available in all of Russia's Arctic regions3 december 2022
On 25–26 November, Yakutia hosted the Digital Diamond Federal Forum. More than 1,500 people from 63 Russian regions took part in it. Representatives of the authorities, business and major IT companies discussed the issues of digital sovereignty and cybersecurity in Russia. Since good Internet in the Arctic is an important part of this process, the forum participants paid special attention to its development.
Maksut Shadaev, Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media, speaking at the Digital Diamond Forum, said that Russia's Arctic regions would be provided with satellite communications within the next three years. An agreement to this effect has already been signed.
According to Shadaev, a satellite communications project has already been developed and handed over to Roskomos, which will provide Internet access throughout the Russian Arctic. The project involves the launch of four spacecraft that will operate in a high elliptical orbit. It is this orbit that guarantees effective coverage of the Far North.
At the same time, a fibre optic Internet network will continue to be developed in the Arctic regions. For example, as part of the forum, a 311-km high-speed line was launched to the Yakut settlement of Saskylakh. It is the largest of the three settlements of the Anabarsky district and one of the northernmost district centres not only in Yakutia but also in the whole of Russia. So the cable had to be laid across difficult terrain in harsh climatic conditions.
'New digital products and services are now open to residents, with unlimited tariff plans available that allow unlimited use of the Internet for a fixed fee. With the availability of the Internet, new conditions and solutions are emerging for local businesses to successfully implement their projects,' stressed Anatoly Semyonov, Minister of Innovation, Digital Development and Infocommunication Technologies of Yakutia.
Anabarsky district is already the second Arctic region of Yakutia to have access to good Internet. In 2020, the Oleneksky district—the Olenek and Kharyyalakh settlements—were connected to the fibre optic line. In early November, the fourth-generation mobile Internet was launched in Zhilinda, another settlement in the Oleneksky district. The 700 inhabitants of the settlement are engaged in reindeer herding, fur farming and hunting, and now they will also be able to develop tourism.
Maksut Shadaev attended the launch ceremony for the second line in Anabarsky district. He noted that the digitalisation of hard-to-reach areas will continue as part of a joint project between the republic and the Russian Ministry of Culture, 'Synergy of the Arctic.'
'In the near future, 22 social facilities in the district will be connected to optical networks. Fast Internet and stable mobile communications are becoming indispensable attributes of life for northerners. In another six months, the FOCL will reach the Yuryung-Khaya settlement, to the very edge of the Arctic Ocean,' said Aysen Nikolayev, head of Yakutia.
The rest of Yakutia's Arctic district centres will be connected to optical communication networks by the end of 2025. High-speed Internet and fourth-generation cellular communications will be made available to 52 Arctic and 34 hard-to-reach settlements with a total population of 72,000. The total Internet bandwidth will reach 392 Gbit/s and the total length of fibre-optic lines will be around 7,000 km. Half of the cost of this project is covered by the federal budget.
High-speed Internet will spur the development of electronic government services, telemedicine, e-commerce, online banking and distance education.
'In addition to improving the quality of services, the project will reduce the cost of Internet tariffs for the Arctic population by almost 100 times. Fibre optics will cover the Arctic regions by land, then need to be connected via the North Sea Route. We need to coordinate our plans with those projects for the construction of a trans-Arctic submarine fibre-optic communication line that are already underway,' explained Yakutian Prime Minister Andrey Tarasenko.Read more 'A step towards the digital transformation of the Arctic' The Digital Arctic science and technology IT park opened in Arkhangelsk