Russian Submarine Fiber Optic Cable Connects the Kuril Islands

Rostelecom has accomplished the commissioning of the submarine fiber optic cables in the Pacific islands, known as the Kuril Islands. The new submarine connectivity with the mainland will provide high-speed broadband services to the chain of islands in the eastern Russian region.

The 831-kilometer long fiber optic cable line had been laid between Russia’s offshore Sakhalin island and the chain of islands that Russia named as Iturup, Kunashir, and Shikotan. The move by the Russian government to provide high-speed connectivity to the towns and villages on the islands is a part of the Putin Administration’s effort to reduce the digital divide.

Rostelecom started construction of Kamchatka–Sakhalin–Magadan submarine fiber optic cable line in 2014. This submarine cable was one of the biggest developments and a major telecommunication infrastructure project that the operator was carrying out. Aimed at solving the digital inequality elimination issues in the Far-East region of Russia, Rostelecom awarded the construction tender to Huawei Marine.

Huawei Marine completed the construction of the submarine fiber optic cable connecting Kamchatka and Sakhalin in Russia in 2016. The construction of this 831-kilometer submarine cable segment completes phase two of the construction of the Kamchatka-Sakhalin-Magadan network.

The project as a whole includes construction of a 1,855-km submarine fiber optical telecommunication line. The throughput capacity is 40 Gbps on each of these parts of the Line, which is upgradeable to 8 Tbps if required.

The Sakhalin to Kuril Islands fiber optic deployment was started in 2017. The fiber link connects Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to other cities, including Kurilsk (Iturup island), Yuzhno-Kurilsk (Kunashir Island) and Krabozavodskoye village (Shikotan island).

Sakhalin to Kuril Islands submarine fiber optic cable link

The new submarine fiber cable provides local residents and businesses with high-speed Internet access, while the cost of Internet subscribers has been significantly reduced.

Rostelecom will start the full commercial operation of the fiber optic link by the end of March this year after all relevant licenses are issued.

The Kuril Islands or Kurile Islands in Russia’s Sakhalin Oblast region, form a volcanic archipelago that stretches approximately 1,300 km. The islands’ geographical location has always been in controversy as it stretches from northeast of Hokkaido in Japan to Kamchatka, Russia. There are 56 islands and many minor rocks. It consists of Greater Kuril Chain and Lesser Kuril Chain.

Approximately 20,000 people including ethnic Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Tatars, Nivkhs, Oroch, and Ainus inhabits the Kuril Islands.

An estimated cost of 3,3 billion rubles was allocated for the construction of the fiber optic cables

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