Preliminary work that might doubtlessly result in a fiber optic cable within the Excessive Arctic doesn’t require a assessment to proceed, the Nunavut Affect Assessment Board has advisable.
The assessment board issued its choice on Dec. 22 and now the proposal awaits approval from Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal. That course of may take as much as 45 days.
“We’re happy with the choice and excited to be transferring forward,” stated Ik Icard, the spokesperson for Far North Digital LLC, the corporate proposing the survey.
Far North Digital is working with its Canadian affiliate, True North World Networks LP and Finnish community supplier Cinia to attach 14,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable stretching from Japan eastward to Norway or Finland.
The survey is meant to find out one of the best route to put the cable, with 900 kilometers of it anticipated to undergo Nunavut waters close to the communities of Resolute Bay, Arctic Bay and Pond Inlet.
A part of the plan is to permit these close by communities to hook up with the fiber optic cable as soon as the mission is full, Icard stated.
To truly start laying cable, Far North Digital should file a separate proposal with the influence assessment board.
For now, the survey will contain a crew crusing via the Northwest Passage to evaluate the the underside of the ocean. The crew will use a sonar scan and a cone penetrometer, a steel rod that hits the ocean ground to evaluate its soil high quality.
The federal and territorial governments did checklist some issues concerning the survey, together with its potential influence on the marine habitat and atmosphere, and potential interference with transport routes.
The response to the proposal additionally states session with communities is required.
Icard stated his firm desires to listen to any potential group issues, and obtain enter on one of the best methods to finish the survey with out coming into contact with or harming marine wildlife.
In its response filed with the assessment board, the corporate states it would keep away from migratory fowl sanctuaries and the Nirjutiqarvik Nationwide Wildlife Space, which is positioned within the Excessive Arctic, roughly 20 kilometers from the southern tip of Ellesmere Island.
The corporate additionally states it would develop an influence tracker for its survey, and that it’s conscious of the incoming designation of Tallurutiup Imanga as a marine conservation space of the coasts of Pond Inlet, Arctic Bay and Resolute Bay.
Group session is deliberate to start out this month and proceed till at the least June.
Far North Digital has already had discussions with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. in addition to Indigenous organizations within the Inuvialuit settlement area, in accordance with Icard.
In a earlier interview, Icard stated laying cable will not be an particularly daunting process contemplating there may be roughly 1.4 million kilometers of fiber optic cable laid the world over already.
Surveys for the fiber optic cable have already begun in different elements of the world and Far North Digital plans for development to start out in 2024, with it in service by the tip of 2026.
Icard stated Far North Digital intends to submit its proposal for laying the cable to the assessment board this spring.