The Arctic is uninhabited, scarce and essential for the globe’s future health. It is also an area of great importance to the marine and defense sector. Now, the Norwegian Government wants to make broadband communications available in the Arctic.
The company that is on the job is Space Norway AS, that has been working on establishing satellite-based broadband communications capacity in the Arctic since 2015. The project is based on a system of two satellites providing coverage 24 hours a day in the area north of 65 degrees latitude. The expected lifespan of the satellites is 15 years. If everything follows the plan, the satellites will be launched in 2022.
“Space Norway AS’s project represents an exciting opportunity to meet society’s needs for broadband communications at low cost to the state. A solid communications system will also facilitate increased value creation in the High North,” The Minister of Trade and Industry, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, said in a press release.
Today, the poor coverage in the Arctic is making it harder to carry out security and emergency services for the authorities. Oil spill protection, crisis management as well as search and rescue at sea, will remarkably improve by getting broadband in the Arctic.
“The High North is Norway’s most important strategic area of responsibility. It is quite natural that we take a leading role in establishing better communications in the region”, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide, said.
The government proposes to give NOK 1 billion (approx. USD 129 million) in equity capital to realize the project. Hopefully, the Arctic will be connected to the world within 2022!
Read the announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.