Laying Fiber To The South Pole

from the not-an-easy-thing-to-do dept

The BBC has an article discussing some of the challenges faced by those planning to lay a fiber-optic cable to the South Pole, to give them internet access. For $250 million I hope they do better things with their new internet access than play Quake online (yes, I’m joking). It seems like an interesting challenge, though I still wonder if it wouldn’t be easier/cheaper to put a satellite up specifically for this purpose. The article discusses how they can’t use current satellites (most don’t go over the South Pole), but that doesn’t mean a new satellite couldn’t handle the work. Of course, not being in the market for a satellite lately, I have no idea how much something like that costs, and perhaps it’s well over the $250 million.

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Comments on “Laying Fiber To The South Pole”

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John says:

Satellites aren't cheap

To get full coverage of the pole you would need multiple satellites, probably 3 or more due to horizon issues and redundancy. Decent communication satellites cost $200-500 million each to build and launch. So even though it sounds like a lot of money a cable will probably be significantly cheaper, even when you add in high maintenance costs.

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