The trans-Arctic cable would join the Finnish fibre optic cable network through Murmansk and continue to Central Europe along the bed of the Baltic Sea. The cable could transform Finland into an extremely attractive location for data center operators and cloud service providers. In addition, it would reduce the distance data has to travel between Asia and Europe by thousands of kilometers and thereby slash the delays in data transmission.
“This is a big thing for us,” says Juha Parantainen, a ministerial adviser at the Ministry of Transport and Communications, to Helsinki Times. “We must come up with a way to carry it out.”
Today, data between the two continents is transferred via a cable meandering through politically and geologically unstable regions in the south. Although the current delays in data communications are measured in milliseconds, any advances in the speed of communications would be significant for trading and data centers.
According to Parantainen, the project was last discussed by Finnish and Russian ministers of communications in the spring.
The plans to roll out the trans-Arctic cable have been devised by the Russian company Polarnet. The project is estimated to cost 800 million euros, making it too substantial an investment for the Finnish Government.
“We’ve had a direct line of communication with Polarnet. We have talked with them,” Parantainen says. “The funding situation would change completely, if the Russian state, for example, decided to take part.”