Home Technology The EU is planning an internet cable across the Black Sea to Georgia

The EU is planning an internet cable across the Black Sea to Georgia

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The EU is planning an internet cable across the Black Sea to Georgia

Submarine fiber optic cables are becoming increasingly important due to the vulnerability of terrestrial connections
(photo: CC0 Public Domain)

The European Union is planning to lay a 1,100 km underwater internet cable on the bottom of the Black Sea, connecting EU countries to Georgia, to reduce dependence on terrestrial connections through Russia.

The €45m project aims to reduce the region’s “dependence on the terrestrial fiber optic link transiting through Russia”, according to the European Commission’s policy document, cited by the Financial Times.

Currently, the project is at the stage of technical and economic justification. It is part of the initiative of the Global Portal of the European Commission for the development of international relations in areas such as digitalization, energy, transport, health care, education and research.

The European Investment Bank offers a grant of 20 million euros for the implementation of the project.

Vodafone is also exploring the possibility of running an undersea cable across the Black Sea. The Kardessa cable system will connect Ukraine with Bulgaria, Turkey and Georgia, and then cross into Armenia, Kazakhstan and further into Asia.

To improve connectivity and reduce dependence on neighbors on the bottom of the Caspian Sea, the idea is to run a cable between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, and the line itself under the Digital Silk Way project will eventually connect Asia and Europe.

Underwater internet highways are the focus of attention as land lines and stations are considered vulnerable to data interception and espionage. On the other hand, recent events have shown that marine infrastructure can be vulnerable to damage from both human activities and natural disasters.

Important Internet highways pass through the territory of Russia. For example, the 8,700 km long DREAM cable spans Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan and China. The controlling block of shares of this project belongs to the Russian operator MegaFon.

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