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Fiber optic cables to join Japan and UK through Arctic

The world's longest stretch of fiber optic cable will run from the UK to Japan in first ever trans-Arctic project.

Arctic InternetEnlarge
One fiber optic cable route planned to connect London and Tokyo. (Arctic Cable Company/Courtesy)

Receding ice in the Arctic has, for the first time, allowed the laying of fiber optic cables to cross over the top of the world to connect London to Tokyo.

According to Discovery News, three different fiber optic projects are planned, with the first starting in August.

The first two will travel through the Northwest Passage above Canada, while the third will run along the Russian coastline.

The new fiber optic cables will connect London to Tokyo and will offer high-speed internet to Canadian Arctic communities that have had to rely on satellite links in the past.

The projects are expected to decrease the time it takes for data to get from London to Tokyo from about 230 milliseconds to 170 milliseconds, said Discovery News, a miniscule number but essential for financial traders.

The projects are estimated to cost between $600 million and $1.5 billion each, said Extreme Tech.

According to the New Scientist, the project will face difficulties due to icebergs and the few-month window in which ships can work to lay the giant cables.

Floating icebergs have the potential to sever the cables which will sit about 160 ft. below the water.

An Arctic cable is, however, relatively safe from common mishaps posed by areas with high ship traffic where cables can be accidentally severed.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business-tech/technology-news/120322/fiber-optic-cables-join-japan-and-uk-through-arct