Broadband in the High North


Much of the activity around the Arctic takes place in places with poor or unstable broadband. A new report proposes how we can get better broadband coverage in the High North.

– The northern areas are some of the world’s most demanding areas to live in. Good broadband coverage is important for all activities that are being conducted here, whether it concerns shipping, research, cruise, defence or fisheries, Minister for Industry a Fisheries, Monica Mæland, states in a press release.

Upgrades are needed.

Electronic communications in the areas above 75 degrees north, just north of Bear Island (Bjørnøya), are today very challenging. The Government announced in the Svalbard- and Maritime Strategy reports that they will look into the needs and possibilities for better communication in the High North.

– Today’s systems are not capable of the challenges we have. We must have solutions that address the need for search and rescue operations, climate monitoring and defence. A solid communications system can also facilitate increased value creation in the High North, Mæland states.

 Several alternatives

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has now received a report on electronic communications in the High North. The report is a so-called concept-selection investigation (KVU), which is an external review made regarding all major Government investments.

The review considers several concepts. It looks at land-based solutions with transmitters deployed along the coast and on oil platforms, and satellites that cover Norwegian marine areas part of the day, for continuous coverage of the entire Arctic region.

The report recommends proceeding with the option that covers the entire Arctic area. This solution will provide broadband communications throughout the Arctic, not just in the Norwegian or European regions. It is more expensive than the other options, but satisfies both Norwegian and foreign players’ needs. At the same time, this option also offers greater commercial opportunities.

 Must be quality assured

The report’s findings will now be quality assured by an external organization (KS1), before the Government decides whether the project gets the green light.


Source: / Norway Today