Arctic Connect is essentially two separate data cable systems: one system will offer the international community an incomparable low-latency internet connection between European and Asian users, and the other system will connect regional Russian coastal cities to broadband internet.
Of course, in extending Arctic data cable projects, Russia finds a viable avenue for reviving international cooperation shattered post-2014.
It is the case that Russian Arctic digital endeavors require state buy-in in which the development of polar connectivity infrastructure is dependent on state participation.
Russia’s interest in and incremental development of digital infrastructure in the Arctic is important for anyone with an internet connection.
The development of sea cable systems like Arctic Connect will attract internet providers seeking the commercial competitiveness edge afforded by the low-latency system transiting the Russian Arctic.
Beyond Russia’s stake in the Arctic Connect infrastructure, including several proposed data centers or landing centers along the Russian coast, China has also flagged interest in the project.
The Internet of Things facilitated by the digitization of global commerce, communication and the transmission of information worldwide links every user of the web to the development of Arctic data cables.
Essentially, in becoming end-users of sea cable data links like Arctic Connect, the global community may yet find the security of our personal information and state secrets.