Finnish government commission cable-laying project report

29 April 2016 | Jason McGee-Abe


The Finnish government has appointed former PM Paavo Lipponen and ex-FiCom MD Reijo Svento to explore the prerequisites for international cooperation in launching the cable-laying project in the North-East Passage.

Lipponen and Svento, commissioned by Finland’s ministry of transport and communications, are tasked with clarifying the extent to which the countries with an interest in the North-East Passage cable project, which would involve construction of a new high-capacity optical fibre cable via the North-East Passage between Asia and Europe.

“The Government has a strong intent to develop the Arctic region, and the submarine cable across the North-East Passage would open up major business opportunities,” said Anne Berner, Finland’s minister of transport and communications.

The submarine cable connection would be the fastest physical telecommunications route from Asia to Northern and Central Europe. The route from the Arctic Ocean to the Baltic Sea could travel via Norway or Russia, but a route via Finland would be the shortest option. The cable would bring not only speed but also respond to the rapidly increasing capacity needs.

“The materialisation of the extensive and multinational cable project would require international commitment from at least Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, Norway, certain EU countries and the United States. In addition, the European Union could have a significant role in this international cable project both as a beneficiary and provider of funding,” added a government statement.

Lipponen and Svento start their roles on May 2 2016 and their terms last until October 31 2016. An interim report must be submitted this coming August.