Digitization and the Future of Connectivity in the Arctic
The state is ready to provide support for digitization projects in Arctic regions
“The state is ready to provide support. Enormous amounts of money have been earmarked for federal infrastructure projects,” Ekaterina Solntseva, Chief Digital Officer, State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM.
Digitization helps provide equal opportunities for people living in every region of the country
“The Arctic zone is not falling behind the rest of the country in digitization. <…> Each residential building in the city of Murmansk has a fiber-optic connection that can be extended right into residents’ homes. These services are no different from those that are being provided in central Russia or in other developed countries,” Andrey Balatsenko, Vice President, Director of the North-West Macroregional Branch, Rostelecom.
Insufficient collaboration between agencies on digitization
“Each agency protects their own product, doesn't let anyone near it, just uses it themselves – this is a very important barrier that needs to be overcome in the digitization of our country,” Vladimir Yakushev, Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities of the Russian Federation.
The complex climate and economic conditions in the Arctic
“It is hard to solve issues in the Arctic, because our populated areas are located far apart, the transport system is hard to access, and climate conditions are extreme. For this reason, solving digitization problems in Arctic regions is far more difficult than elsewhere,” Valentina Rudсhenko, Member of the Committee of the State Duma of the Russian Federation on Regional Policy and Problems of North and Far East.
“It's very hard to find a business that will independently invest their money in places where they're not sure they're going to get that money back,” Ekaterina Solntseva, Chief Digital Officer, State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM.
Using PPP models to implement projects
“Using PPP models is the key to success. Government subsidies and financing help private investors, and this is particularly important for far-flung regions,” Marjukka Vihavainen-Pitkanen, Co-Chairman, The Task Force on Improved Connectivity in the Arctic.
Creating a legislative regulatory system for the digital economy
“We must create a legislative regulatory system for the digital economy <...> Some of these laws are already in development, some have made it to the State Duma, but there is still a vast amount of work to be done in developing a regulatory system on both the federal and regional level,” Valentina Rudсhenko, Member of the Committee of the State Duma of the Russian Federation on Regional Policy and Problems of North and Far East.
Making sure technology functions
“Vital service systems must be far sturdier and reliable than they are allowed to be in this central belt of the Russian Federation,” Vladimir Yakushev, Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities of the Russian Federation.
“New technologies need to be built with the very harsh climate conditions of the Arctic in mind,” Marjukka Vihavainen-Pitkanen, Co-Chairman, The Task Force on Improved Connectivity in the Arctic.
Search for spheres that are appealing to investors
“One of the proposed ideas is the creation of data processing centers. The weather is chilly, the climate allows for the development of new enterprises and new technologies on our territories, and our regions can make a fair amount of money as a result,” Andrey Chibis, Acting Governor of Murmansk Region.
Developing the satellite constellation to increase access
“We need to concentrate not on technology, but on what we need to get these services running. We need to develop the satellite constellation. Make it so that there are enough channels to ensure that services are identical: what you've got on the mainland is what you've got in the Arctic,” Andrey Balatsenko, Vice President, Director of the North-West Macroregional Branch, Rostelecom.
“I’m certain that this project [NASC Portal, – Ed.] will lead to progress and that, among other things, the digital inequality currently present in the Arctic will be overcome,” Dmitry Purim, Chairman of the Management Board, Sovfracht.
Exchanging experiences between programme participants
“We are ready, and we want to gather existing expert knowledge from other regions where Rosatom operates. <...> We want to leverage the experience that we've already gathered in other regions and apply it to the Arctic,” Ekaterina Solntseva, Chief Digital Officer, State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM.
“We must develop communication services while also conserving energy resources,” Heidar Gudjonsson, Vice Chairman, The Arctic Economic Council (AEC).