Norway to bring broadband internet access to the Arctic
Norway is planning to provide large areas of the Arctic with broadband internet access. The country's government states that improving the quality of internet connection in high latitudes is in the interest of both internet users in the Norwegian polar regions and various government agencies.
"This project is very important for Norway's Armed Forces, and it can satisfy the needs of our allies [in NATO]," said the Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen.
Two satellites, which will be launched by the Space Norway AS company in the year 2022, will enable stable and fast internet connection in the area above the 65 parallel north. The Norwegian government promised to allocate one billion kroner (about $130 million) to the company if it manages to attract additional private investments and ensure the project's profitability throughout the whole lifespan of the satellites, which is expected to be 15 years.
"High latitudes are the most important strategic zone of responsibility for Norway," said the Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide. "It is only natural for us to want to become leaders in providing the region with the highest possible quality of internet access."
The Norwegian government states that poor internet connection above the Arctic Circle hampers the work of emergency services, including search and rescue operations at sea, dealing with oil-spill accidents and solving other types of crises.