General, Research, Technology

Is there internet in Antarctica and the Arctic?

Many people complain that today everything is justlook at their smartphones and don't see the real world. But in reality, the Internet is not available everywhere. In 2019, the staff of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) announced that he is only half of the world's population... Big problems connecting to the Worldcobwebs have long been tested by researchers in Antarctica. Over time, this problem was resolved, but it still persists in the Arctic. But even there, very soon, it will be possible to connect to high-speed Internet. But how exactly do the inhabitants of Antarctica and the Arctic connect with other people in such cold conditions? Let's figure it out.

There have always been problems with the Internet in Antarctica and the Arctic, but the situation is improving

Interesting fact: according to statistics, 4.1 billion people worldwide have access to the Internet today. The remaining 3.6 billion people do not have this opportunity. They mainly live in poorly developed countries.

Internet in Antarctica

Internet in the coldest region on the planetthere is also it satellite. It is important to note that there are 90 research stations from different countries in Antarctica. Among them there are as many as 7 Russian stations: Vostok, Mirny, Bellingshausen, Novolazarevskaya, Progress, Russkaya and Molodezhnaya. For the first time satellite Internet appeared in 1985 at Molodezhnaya station. They worked on the basis of the Japanese Inmarsat-A system. Within four years, satellite communications appeared in all seven stations. But Internet access in Antarctica is expensive. If you believe the article on Habré, in 2010 a megabyte of data cost about $ 40. In those days, news was downloaded and printed for everyone to read.

Antarctic station "Vostok"

But during the 65th Russian AntarcticExpedition in 2019, the situation with the Internet in Antarctica has improved markedly. The Russian telecommunications company MTS has deployed a GSM mobile network at the Progress station. It is reported that there is a stable signal in both the living and office premises of the research station. Russian polar explorers have the opportunity to call their relatives and colleagues from other stations in Antarctica. Also, mobile communication helps to track the location of researchers in cold areas - this is necessary for their own safety.

In Antarctica "catches" MTS

Information about internet speed in Antarcticasmall, it depends on the station and the number of connected devices. For example, at the French-Italian station "Concordia" it averages 500 kilobits per second. If we consider that some stations also broadcast Wi-Fi, in fact this figure may be even lower.

See also: Why did mosquitoes appear in Antarctica?

Internet in the Arctic

The Internet in the Arctic is much worse. The fact is that Arctic polar stations are hard-to-reach points located on nearby islands, as well as on drifting ice. Researchers generally work on a rotational basis, no more than 6-12 months in a row. For a long time, access to the Internet was also carried out using satellite communications. In 2019, OneWeb announced the deployment of a 375 gigabits per second network. But it should be borne in mind that when branching across stations, the final speed of such a connection turns out to be not so great. But in the course of tests, this connection provided comfortable viewing of HD video and a delay of no more than 40 milliseconds.

OneWeb satellite Internet operates in the Arctic

And recently, the Federal Agency for Maritime andriver transport and the organization "Rosmorport" announced that they will extend fiber-optic Internet to the Arctic. The fiber-optic line will be stretched under water along the Murmansk - Vladivostok route. In this case, local lines will go to the settlements of the Arctic zone. The length of the line will be 12.5 kilometers, and this does not take into account the branches to settlements. The bandwidth should be up to 104 terabits per second, that is, such an Internet will be better than satellite. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2026.

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With all this, do not forget that by creatingStarlink, founded by Elon Musk, deals with its own satellite Internet. In a few years, it will launch all the planned 12,000 satellites into low-Earth orbit. They will be able to distribute the Internet even to the most remote regions of our planet. You can see what Starlink equipment looks like in this article. There you will also find out how much such an Internet costs.