Connecting Crimea with the latest fiber optic cable networks is getting priority for the Russian authorities. After annexing Crimea from Ukraine, the Russian government has decided to construct an underwater fiber optic communication line through the Kerch Strait to the Crimean Peninsula. The fiber optic line route will run from the Taman Peninsula, the government reported.
With a population of around 2.3 million, the Crimean Peninsula also is known simply as Crimea is a major land mass on the northern coast of the Black Sea that is almost completely surrounded by water. The peninsula is located south of the Ukrainian region of Kherson and west of the Russian region of Kuban. Crimea is surrounded by the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov to the northeast. It is connected to Kherson by the Isthmus of Perekop and is separated from the Kuban by the Strait of Kerch. The Arabat Spit is located to the northeast; a narrow strip of land that separates a system of lagoons named Sivash from the Sea of Azov.
Connecting Crimea and thereby establishing an efficient communication system has utmost importance to ensure effective Russian administration in the peninsula. Russian Government had announced the plans to establish the link immediately after the Soviet Army took the possession of Crimea. The peninsula dominated by Russians. Out of more than 2.3 million population, there are more than 1.4 million Russians in the peninsula.
As a result of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution and subsequent annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, the sovereignty over the peninsula is currently disputed between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Immediately after the flight of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych from Kiev on 21 February 2014, planning began in the Kremlin to take control of Crimea. Within days, unmarked Russian forces took over the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, also occupying several localities in Kherson Oblast on the Arabat Spit, which is geographically a part of Crimea.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev had signed documents necessary for the approval to start construction of submarine fiber optic cable to link Crimea. Information of this network construction has been posted on the Russian government’s website. The project will be implemented under the state program of socio-economic development of the Crimean Federal District for a period until 2020.
The submarine fiber optic cable will have a designed capacity of 200 Gbps. Taking this into account, by 2018 the capacity of the channels ensuring operation of the Crimean Federal District’s communication networks within Russia’s single telecommunications network will reach at least 310 Gbps. This will make it possible to create increased capacity communication channels in Crimea for ensuring the development of broadband Internet access, telephone and television on the peninsula.
The shallow 4-5-km wide Kerch Strait separates Crimea from the Taman Peninsula. The sea depths there do not exceed 10 meters. Up to a hundred vessels pass the strait daily. Connecting Crimea with the high-speed fiber optic cables is necessary for the Russian defense forces as well. Many of the communication lines including fiber optic cables were destroyed during the unrest that followed the occupation of Crimea by Russian forces.