Chukotka will be connected to the Internet via submarine cable for 7 billion rubles


The Ministry of Communications will allocate 6.9 billion rubles to Rostelecom for laying an underwater trunk cable to the Chukotka District. This is the last region in Russia where a satellite is used as the main channel. Transtelecom also applied for these subsidies. But she was not hired for formal reasons.   As for the highway, Rostelecom has already announced the start of the procurement of works on laying an underwater fiber optic communication line (FOCL) along the route Pertropavlovsk-Kamchatsky-Anadyr. This channel is going to be laid from the Kamchatka Territory to the Chukotka District, which will provide the region with high-speed high-speed Internet.   Subsidies in the amount of 6.9 billion rubles are allocated from the federal budget.   For a long time, a number of regions of the Russian Far North and the Far East did not have trunk fiber-optic communication channels. Instead, satellite communications were used, which provided relatively reliable, but not very fast Internet. End consumers used the Internet through wired channels, or worked with mobile Internet. Unfortunately, in this case the connection quality was not very good, but the prices remained high.   In these regions, operators did not provide unlimited tariffs for wired Internet, the term “satellite regions” was even introduced. When traveling to these areas, their subscribers were not able to use the connected traffic packets, so they had to pay megabytes.   Gradually, the situation improved, the Internet backbone gradually penetrated into the most remote regions. So, five years ago, Rostelecom laid the FOCL backbone to the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, plus an underwater trunk to Sakhalin was laid.   In 2015, Rostelecom laid fiber-optic lines from Sakhalin to the Magadan Region; in 2016, this channel was extended to the Kamchatka Territory. In 2017, the main FOCL reached the city of Norilsk. In the same year, an underwater fiber optic link was laid to the Kuril Islands, which are part of the Sakhalin Region. The only region where there is still no wired trunk canal is the Chukotka District.   This problem was solved by introducing a new program, according to which it was planned to allocate 4.7 billion rubles from the country’s budget to lay the FOCL to the region. This summer, the Ministry of Communications announced a competition for the allocation of appropriate subsidies. At the same time, the term of work was extended until 2021 inclusively, increasing the amount of financing to 6.9 million rubles. So, in 2019, 230 million rubles should have been allocated, in 2020 – 500 million rubles, in 2021 – 4 billion rubles, in 2022 – 2.2 billion rubles.   The length of the line will be 2.2 thousand kilometers, the throughput is not less than 100 Gbit / s with the possibility of increasing to 8 Tbit / s. The marine part of the fiber optic link will include at least four optical fibers, and the ground – at least 24.   It was indicated above that in addition to Rostelecom, another company planned to take part in the project – Transtelecom. But her application was not accepted for formal reasons. One of them is the presence of a company owed to the federal budget for taxes on taxes, as well as the absence in the company’s application of approved technical specifications for the development of design documentation for the construction of a future fiber optic link.   As a result, the competition was declared invalid, and Rostelecom, as its sole participant, was offered to conclude a contract. The further fate of the subsidies was not reported, the press service of Rostelecom declined to comment on this issue. But as far as one can understand, it is Rostelecom that receives subsidies.   Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov said earlier that it is planned to connect Chukotka by the end of 2022. In addition, there are other projects to provide Chukotka with wired backbone Internet – for example, laying fiber-optic links along the Magadan-Chukotka energy bridge. This channel will connect Peschanka, Bilibino and Pevek. The third option is to continue branching from the fiber optic link along the Northern Sea Route.