- Two infrastructure companies are getting ready to build the first undersea internet cable in Antarctica.
- Currently, Antarctica researchers use satellites when they need to connect to somewhere on earth. However, it is with a limited amount of bandwidth allowed per person.
- The Humboldt Cable’s running on Antarctic shores will put an end to the region’s dependence on slow, incompatible satellite internet.
The two companies from Chile and Singapore are about to start infrastructure of undersea internet cable to deploy high-speed internet to Antarctica. As of today, the continent remains the only continent without a high-speed fiber optic cable connection.
Even space has better internet than Antarctica
Currently, Antarctica researchers use satellites when they need to connect to somewhere on earth. However, it is with a limited amount of bandwidth allowed per person. A study document from 2021 states that Scott Base and McMurdo Station in Antarctica have networking capabilities that are “insufficient even to be deemed broadband.” Especially in the summer, it gets worse. Because the population rises to 1000 people and the same amount of internet is shared. E&E News once suggested that even space had better internet than Antarctica.
The Humboldt Line cable, built via a collaboration between Desarrollo Pas and H2 Cable, a BW Digital company, would run 15,000 kilometers from Chile to Australia, including offshoots landing in New Zealand and two islands off the coast of Chile. The Humboldt Cable’s running on Antarctic shores will put an end to the region’s dependence on slow, incompatible satellite internet. The cable will allow a first-time hardwired connection. And it should enable local academics to send large data sets to global colleagues. Peter Neff, one of the authors of the study report stressed the importance of the fiber internet in the continent on a series of twits as below;
Finding 3. Robust bandwidth for interpersonal connectivity for scientists & staff, if thoughtfully approached, could be transformative for research & work functions, participation in Antarctic science, education, engagement, & community wellbeing. 7/
— Peter Neff (@icy_pete) October 5, 2021
As of today, the route and timeline have become official. However, the two companies are still looking for new investors before starting procurement and making deals with the interested parties at the anchor sites.