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Antarctica will receive its first submarine fiber optic cable, following an agreement signed in Chile

There are 30 countries that have bases installed in Antarctica. Between military settlements and scientific research centers, it is estimated that its inhabitants vary between 1,000 in winter and 5,000 in summer.

The polar continent currently has access to the Internet, mainly via satellite, but without the stability and speed of other latitudes. This will change soon, as Chilean authorities signed an agreement to install the first submarine fiber optic cable that connects the southern part of South America with the Antarctic Territory.

High speed internet is coming to Antarctica

This project arose from the joint effort of SUBTEL, Chile’s Undersecretariat of Telecommunications, the Regional Government of Magallanes, the southernmost region of the continent, and Desarrollo País, a state-owned company dedicated to infrastructure projects.

Yesterday, November 25, the aforementioned parties signed an agreement to promote the realization of the first quotes, the information of which will allow to promote the preparation of a technical, legal, economic and financial feasibility study.

The landing station located in Puerto Williams, Magallanes Region, is the closest point of union between South America and Antarctica. This condition offers a great opportunity to deploy the so-called Antarctic Submarine Cable across the Southern Ocean.

There are several projects that have sought to realize this same initiative. However, the Chilean proposal is emerging as a more viable option, since optical fiber is already in deployment within the extreme south of Chile. For the same reason, connecting Tierra del Fuego – the archipelago where Puerto Williams is located – with the continent of the south pole, would reduce costs compared to other proposals.

Through the Press release SUBTEL official, the Undersecretary of Telecommunications, Francisco Moreno, pointed out that “Despite being a continent that is based on scientific research, today Antarctica has enormous limitations due to insufficient digital connectivity. Through this project, and thanks to the deployment of the Austral Fiber Optic (FOA) in Magallanes and Tierra del Fuego, we aspire that the large volumes of scientific information that arise from the multiple and transcendental investigations that are carried out on this continent, such such as climate change and biological evolution, circulate from Antarctica to the rest of the world through Chilean telecommunications networks. We are taking the first step to create an Antarctic digital hub and consolidate Chile’s position as the region’s digital hub “.

The approximately one thousand kilometers of submarine fiber optic cables contemplated in this project will be able to establish a high-speed, high-capacity digital communication channel, whose contribution can be used for all activities carried out on the continent. , linking with the rest of the world.

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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