Chilean authorities are working with international partners to lay an underwater internet cable to Antarctica.

Country Development Association (Desarrollo País), Chilean telecommunications regulator Subtel and authorities in the Magallanes region of southern Chile have signed an agreement to work on a large-scale project to lay an underwater internet cable to Antarctica.

If the government approves the project, the length of the new line will be about 1,000 km. It will link the small Chilean city of Puerto Williams and King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, home to several research stations belonging to Argentina, Brazil, China, Peru, Poland, Russia, Uruguay, Chile, and South Korea.

The agreement provides for a market consultation process to prepare a feasibility study with technical, legal, economic, and financial feasibility.

“As a government, we are determined to carry out this ambitious project and thus make a strategic contribution to solving the problems of the international community and expand the development of scientific cooperation,” said Minister of Transport and Telecommunications Gloria Hutt in a press release.

Perhaps the starting point of the project will be the city of Puerto Williams on the island of Navarino (this is part of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago) on the shores of the Beagle Channel. The existing network infrastructure here is part of the Fibra Optica Austral project, which involves the laying of more than 4,600 km of fiber optic lines in Patagonia. This will simplify the connection of the new submarine line. The Chilean project is believed to have a comparative advantage thanks to the already installed Austral fiber. This will reduce costs and create a high-capacity digital link that will link Antarctica and the world through Chile.