MegaFon has become the first Russian telecommunication company to represent Russia in the Arctic Economic Council (AEC).
The AEC is an international business forum that facilitates Arctic business-to-business activities and promotes responsible economic development. The AEC’s active organizations include a diverse collection of business industries operating in the region: from start-ups and SMEs to indigenous and multinational corporations.
Besides offering digital services to its subscribers and corporate customers, MegaFon is pursuing several projects of a global reach. One of these projects is Arctic Connect. MegaFon pursues this project jointly with Cinia Oy, a Finnish infrastructure operator; the memorandum creating the international consortium was signed at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June 2019.
The project implies laying of Arctic Connect, a fiber-optic telecommunication line connecting Europe and Asia across the floor of the Arctic Ocean, along Russia’s Arctic coast. It will connect the continents housing 85% of the global population, assuring the fastest connect with minimum delay rates. Branches from the main line will bring high-quality telecommunication service to users in the Arctic and the Far East, including energy sector entities. In early 2021, agreements regarding the plans to build such branches have been already signed with the governments of Sakha (Yakut) Republic, Komi Republic and Chukotka Autonomous Okrug.
The project has successfully passed an environmental audit undertaken by the Federal Nature Management Oversight Service that confirmed safety of the project activities.
– As new companies join the Arctic Economic Council, this will allow us to continue expanding connections among member states. MegaFon plays an important role in the life of the Arctic region, contributing to its enhanced social and economic development. At present, the company is pursuing a wide-sweeping infrastructural telecommunication project, the Arctic Connect, that will bring fast internet connectivity to millions, including those living in the Arctic, says Mads Qvist Frederiksen, Director of the AEC.
The Chairmanship of the AEC will change from the Icelandic business community to the Russian business community in May this year.