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The Trans-Arctic Internet Cable Project Made Possible by Climate Change

Running a telecom cable from London through the Northwest Passage to Tokyo was, for a very long time, impossible: The sea route was solid ice year-round. Now, thanks to rising temperatures, the ice disappears from August to October, and a Canadian telecom startup wants to thread a 10,000-mile internet cable through that gap.

Toronto-based Arctic Fibre will soon start surveying the underwater route that would connect the UK with Japan and several spots in between, diversifying the globe’s fiber optic data network without relying on land-based cables going through volatile regions of the Middle East, as current connections do. Similar projects, on a much smaller scale, have recently been completed to connect Russia and Crimea.

As BuzzFeed reports, telecoms and corporations are clamoring for redundant data connections, still wary of the trouble caused in 2008 when disruptions to the Mediterranean Sea cable slowed or stopped communications across Asia. But routes…

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