The Norwegian Government sponsors Arctic internet
Broadband coverage in the High North is currently both poor and unstable. The Government now wants Norwegian satellites to make broadband communications available in the Arctic. They will provide NOK 1 billion to establish an Arctic internet.
– Fast, stable internet is important to anyone operating in the High North, whether in shipping, defense, fisheries or research, says Minister of Trade and Industry, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (Conservatives).
Space Norway AS (ltd) has been working to establish satellite-based broadband communications capacity in the High North since 2015. Space Norway’s project is based on a system of two satellites providing coverage 24/7 in the area beyond of 65 degrees northern latitude. The expected lifespan of the satellites are 15 years. If all goes according to plan, the satellites will be launched in 2022.
Pledges NOK 1 billion
For negotiations to proceed with customers, suppliers and banks, the company needs a pledge that the Norwegian state will contribute, in its capacity as owner, about NOK 1 billion in equity capital if the company manages to is negotiate required agreements.
The Government is therefore proposing a conditional pledge to Space Norway AS of about NOK 1 billion in equity capital to realize this project. This means the state will contribute equity if Space Norway lands agreements ensuring, among other things, the project’s commercial profitability. In addition, the customers must bear market risk by securing project income across the lifespan of the satellites.
– The Project from Space Norway AS represents an exciting opportunity to meet society’s needs for broadband communications at low cost to the state. A solid communications system will also facilitate increased value creation in the High North, says Røe Isaksen.
– The High North is Norway’s most important strategic area of responsibility. It is quite natural that we take a leading role in establishing better communications in the region, says Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide (Conservatives).
Poor coverage in the High North makes it harder for the authorities to carry out security and emergency services such as search and rescue at sea, oil spill protection and crisis management. Last, but not least, the Armed Forces requires stable and secure communications for operations in Norwegian waters.
– Space Norway’s project is important to the Norwegian Armed Forces, and will also serve the needs of our allies, says Minister of Defense, Frank Bakke-Jensen (Conservatives).
© government.no / #Norway Today