Antarctica will receive its first submarine cable

Country Development, Subtel and the Regional Government of Magallanes sign an agreement to promote the deployment of the first Antarctic submarine cable

It would be the first fiber optic network linking the white continent to the rest of the world, the potential extension of which would encompass the nearly one thousand kilometers that separate Puerto Williams from King George Island.

The undersecretary of Telecomunicaciones, Francisco Moreno, the regional gobernador of Magallanes, Jorge Flies, the general manager of Desarrollo País, Patricio Rey, the presidential delegate, Jenniffer Rojas, and representatives of Movistar participating in the firm of the convention for the realization of a studio of feasibility that allowed the despliegue of a fiber optic cable between Chile and Antarctica.
Juan Carlos Avendaño/Aton Chile

Press release Desarrollo Pais
November 26, 2021

Punta Arenas – This Thursday, Desarrollo País, the Undersecretariat of Telecommunications (Subtel) and the Regional Government of Magallanes signed an agreement to promote the deployment of an undersea fiber optic cable that connects Antarctica to the rest of the world through the Chile, an exceptional fact in the history of the white continent.

This agreement will favor the realization of a process of consultation of the market which allows to promote the preparation of a technical, legal, economic and financial feasibility study.

Telecommunications Undersecretary Francisco Moreno, Magallanes Regional Governor Jorge Flies and Country Development Director General Patricio Rey attended the signing of the agreement, which was held in Punta Arenas.

“The signing of this agreement reaffirms Chile’s historic commitment to Antarctica. Beginning studies to bring the first fiber optic submarine cable there is a step that reaffirms our leadership position on the continent and our efforts to put the interests of science and the progress of all humanity at the center. As a government, we are determined to carry out this enormous project and, in this way, to contribute strategically to the concerns of the international community and to expand the development of scientific cooperation,” said the Minister of Transport and Telecommunications. , Gloria Hutt.

“Although it is a continent based on scientific research, Antarctica today has enormous limitations due to insufficient digital connectivity. Through this project, and thanks to the deployment of Fiber Australe Optics (FOA) in Magallanes and Tierra del Fuego, we aspire that the large volumes of scientific information that derive from the multiple and transcendental investigations carried out on this continent, such as climate change and biological evolution, flow from Antarctica to the rest of the world via Chilean telecommunications networks. We are taking the first step to create an Antarctic digital hub and consolidate Chile’s position as the region’s digital hub,” said Undersecretary in telecommunications, Francisco Moreno.

The potential route considers a distance of approximately one thousand kilometers from Puerto Williams to Antarctica, presenting an absolute advantage over other continents. One of the factors favoring the deployment of the Antarctic submarine cable are the facilities offered by the landing station located in Puerto Williams, the closest to this continent, and which offers a unique opportunity for the deployment of a cable fiber optic. across the Southern Ocean.

This infrastructure installed in Tierra del Fuego, owned by Austral Fiber Optic, offers a comparative advantage compared to other projects evaluated in the world, which would allow to reduce costs, establish a high capacity digital channel for the development of all activities in Antarctica and interconnect this continent with the rest of the world thanks to the extensive networks deployed in Chile.

The country’s chief development officer, Patricio Rey, said that “this milestone is the start of a long journey that aims to provide Antarctica with a connection to the global high-speed grid. This infrastructure could considerably bring the white continent closer to the world and allow the sharing of scientific information in real time with research centers on the planet”.

The implementation of the Antarctic Connection is also promoted by the Regional Government of Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica, an entity that tries to promote the development of the region, science, connectivity, logistics and tourism, sectors that present a particular position in relation to the white continent. .

“For the Regional Government of Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica, whose historical characteristics as a region have been isolation, the possibility of being connected to the world by optical fiber is a fundamental element for the 21st century. This fact materialized with the Southern Fiber Optics, but part of the territory of Magallanes is in the Chilean Antarctic and in an act of extension of the national territory, sovereignty of the 21st century in science and technology, l Advancing the Austral Optical fiber an Antarctic fiber would have a great impact not only for the Magallanes region, but also for the history of Chile and the international agreement of the Antarctic Treaty”, indicated the regional governor of Magallanes, Jorge Flies.

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