A fibre optic company is one step closer to installing 15,000-kilometre cable across the arctic that has the potential to bring ultrahigh-speed Internet to the region.
Arctic Fibre just finished consulting with seven Nunavut communities where the cable will be closest to once installed. The cable will be embedded in the arctic ocean floor and connect Europe with Asia.
As is typical with any major project that could disrupt marine life, nearby residents had questions about the project.
"We were able to answer questions [on] the effects on fish and marine mammals," said Madeleine Redfern, a consultant on the project. "We also obtained interesting information from the communities of Hall Beach and Igloolik about walruses … to make sure the cable is laid in the deep trenches away from where they clam, so that traditional environmental knowledge is very helpful to us."
In Iqaluit, the best landing spot was found at Apex beach. The location was picked because of the tides and ice scour in that area.
The company still has to answer to Nunavut regulators and get final approval from the federal government. If all goes well, cable installation should start in 2015. The project will cost millions of dollars and should be ready for use in 2016.