Internet and Telecom Services to Become More Available in Russian Arctic

Photo: Gorshkov Sergey/

Internet and Telecom Services to Become More Available in Russian Arctic

Residents of the Russian Arctic and Far East will enjoy better access to the internet and high-quality telecommunication services, said Russian Prime Minister Mishustin during a governmental panel session on social and economic development held this 25 January in Moscow.

To this end, a series of measures will be taken in the near future. First, the existing communication satellite systems operated by Gazprom Space Systems and state-owned Russian Satellite Communications Company will start providing telecom services not only to corporate but also individual users and households in the High North. To make this economical for both the providers and their new clients, the Federal Government will subsidize the difference between the market cost and the end user price of service packages.

Second, new communication satellites will be deployed in the coming years.

In addition, the Government intends to cut frequency fees for those providers who invest into telecommunication infrastructure in this country’s remote areas. This measure is believed to give them an incentive to explore small community markets that would have otherwise been deemed uneconomical.

Connectivity and digitalization are crucial for sustainable development in the High North. Far North Digital, a North American telecoms infrastructure development company, and Finnish networks provider Cinia have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build a 14,000-kilometer-long submarine fiber optic cable across the Arctic. The cable is planned to connect Japan, Norway, Finland, Ireland, Alaska, and the Canadian Arctic via the Northwest Passage. The new cable system with an expected launch in 2025 will greatly reduce the optical distance between Asia and Europe, thus minimizing signal latency.

In this light, the policies announced by the Russian Government are in line with the general trend -- the Russian Arctic should not lag behind the rest of the region.

Arctic Today is a column by PORA CEO Alexander Stotskiy analyzing major international, national and regional events and trends in the Arctic.
Alexander Stotskiy
28 January 2022
Arctic Today