|Three Polar bears approach the USS Honolulu, 280 miles from the North Pole. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
20 March 2012 by Jeff Hecht
Looping fibre optics from Japan under the Arctic ice will improve internet performance – but is easier said than done
THE retreat of sea ice is bringing 21st-century communications to the Arctic. In mid-August, construction should start on the first submarine fibre-optic cables to cross the Arctic Ocean, providing digital shortcuts between London and Tokyo, Japan.
Two cables are planned through the fabled North-West Passage above North America, while a third is planned along the Russian coast. The longest of these links will become the world's longest single stretch of optical fibre.
Sea ice and icebergs pose unique challenges. Ships rated to work in ice-ridden waters are needed to lay the cable, and operations are.... http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21328566.000-fibre-optics-to-connect-japan-to-the-uk--via-the-arctic.html