A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5,000 people working in Russia and abroad.

The Foundation works alongside various UN departments and other international organizations, and is building multi-format cooperation with 173 economic partners, including industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions, financial, trade, and business associations from 78 countries worldwide, and 179 Russian public organizations, federal and legislative agencies, and federal subjects.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian t.me/Roscongress, English – t.me/RoscongressDirect, and Spanish t.me/RoscongressEsp. Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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Conference on Telecommunication Development and Digitalization in the Arctic
15 June 2022
15:30—16:30
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Satellite communications and unmanned technologies are the future of the Arctic

More than 2,000 post offices operate in the Arctic zone. We are planning to develop our digital services. As for drones, we understand that this is one of the ways to solve this problem in terms of accelerating logistics and its predictability as well as the ability to provide the public with the services that exist in the central part of the country. We have begun considering a project on drones, which will start with certain helicopter-type systems in 2022. Subsequently, we plan to use tiltrotor aircraft in 2023, which are more efficient than helicopter systems according to preliminary economic calculations — Sergey Sergushev, Deputy General Director for Logistics, Russian Post.

This doesn’t work without satellite communications. You can fly a hundred kilometres, but then you will need a satellite. Experiments with routes up to a thousand kilometres are already being planned in Yugra. Satellite communications in the Arctic region will need 5,000 megahertz. This is about a hundred transponders, which is a very large number. Today, the existing satellite constellations are capable of covering these needs of the Arctic — Alexey Volin, Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.

The Arctic has great potential to develop digitalization

If we are talking about the Arctic and the development of communications, Yakutia is the best case. We are the largest region of the Russian Federation. This is how the communications system looked back in 2012: these are radio and satellite relay lines. In just 10 years, the picture has changed because in Yakutia, despite the remoteness, lack of electricity, communications, and roads, we have connected 363 settlements, or 90% of the population, to FOCL [fibre-optic communication lines], that is, we have built 13,000 kilometres of FOCL — Anatoly Semenov, Minister of Innovations, Digital Development and Communication Technologies of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

As for the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation, telecommunications play a prominent role in development. In this regard, we need high-quality communications and high-speed Internet. We understand that we are currently entering the fourth industrial revolution, and we need a digital space for smart machines and smart technologies to work. We need digitalization for the Northern Sea Route, which many entities are actively working on right now — Nikolay Korchunov, Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation; Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials, Arctic Council.

ISSUES
Digital divide

Cape Zhelaniya is the northern point of Novaya Zemlya at 77 degrees north latitude. Space communication is the only source of communication and Internet there and also on the territory of another 4.5 million square kilometres. The entire Arctic is more than 5 million, so for there is no other alternative for the 4.5 million square kilometres [...] Looking at the population, we see that over 90% of the population in the Arctic zone already has high-quality digital services and 98.5% have digital television. So the specificity of the Arctic is that the permanent population has access to services, and 90% of the territory is not covered by either communications or the Internet — Alexey Volin, Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.

The Arctic is different. It is absolutely impossible to compare and approach digital development in Chukotka, Yakutia, in the north of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, and the territory of the Murmansk and Arkhangelsk Regions in the same way. If we take the project to eliminate the digital divide that is being pursued by the Ministry of Digital Development, where we are the main responsible entity, four such points have been built in the Murmansk Region in recent years. The neighbours in Arkhangelsk have built more than a hundred. Today, for example, in the Murmansk Region, optics in households have been one of the greatest penetrations of broadband access — Alexander Loginov, Vice President, Director of the Far Eastern Macroregional Branch, Rostelecom.

Dependence of digitalization on the weather

Global projects to develop satellite systems are providing high-speed data transmission. These technologies are much needed in the northern regions, where fibre optic cables cannot be laid due to climatic and geographical factors. Our partners in the Arctic Council are already implementing a number of relevant initiatives, among which I would like to highlight Starlink and OneWeb — Nikolay Korchunov, Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation; Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials, Arctic Council.

The Polar Express project was launched in August last year from Teriberka. The cable-laying vessels went on a voyage and began laying a six-pair fibre optic cable. The goal of the project is to connect Murmansk and Vladivostok. I would like to stress that such projects as optical fibre cable laying are only carried out in open waters, without ice, so we are dependent on the seasonality of navigation and are tied to weather conditions and ice conditions in the cable-laying area. This is why work to lay cables was only continued in May of this year in order to complete it in the fourth quarter and commission our first section — Andrey Kuropyatnikov, Chief Executive Officer, Morsviazsputnik.

SOLUTIONS
Public-private partnership for the digitalization of the Arctic

The challenge of providing reliable communication for the inhabitants of the Arctic is not an easy one. There are huge distances. This is why we need to use public-private partnerships and the principles of corporate responsibility. I’ll give you an example with Norilsk Nickel, when it laid a fibre optic cable from Novy Urengoy to Norilsk in 2017 at its own expense. In 2019, Yamal-LNG built a 420-km communication line, providing reliable 4G LTE communications to residents of the village of Sabetta and the village of Seyakha on Yamal. The Polar Express project to lay the underwater fibre-optic communication line has the same structure. All these projects form a backbone and the digital infrastructure on which the smart machines of the future will operate — Nikolay Korchunov, Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation; Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials, Arctic Council.

When we talk about the development of the Arctic, of course, the government’s attention is crucial. As a commercial company, we focus on two main aspects of development. The first is logistics from the standpoint of the global logistics of our country’s development. The second focus is business. We are moving into small towns with the latest projects that we are working on, in addition to the state project to eliminate the digital divide. At the same time, a deposit will be developed near Naryan-Mar in the near future. We are also focusing on business development. There is the territory of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), a huge territory, and the northern part, where the development of the telecom infrastructure is primarily aimed at residents and future deposits. So we need to approach development differently — Alexander Loginov, Vice President, Director of the Far Eastern Macroregional Branch, Rostelecom.

Introduction of unmanned communication systems and cloud technologies

In the future, of course, we will have to create an unmanned aircraft operator, which will incorporate proven standardized technologies and will be accompanied, among other things, by regulatory documents [...] In March of this year, an experimental legal regime was put into place as part of a government project for unmanned air cargo delivery. The purpose of this experimental legal regime is to simplify some of the regulations, test technologies, and look at how unmanned aircraft should be regulated — Sergey Sergushev, Deputy General Director for Logistics, Russian Post.

We had a task force working within the Arctic Council in 2017, which recommended developing competition between economic operators and establishing interaction between the International Civil Aviation [Organization] and the International Maritime Organization, since there are a lot of grey areas that are not covered by telecommunications tools in the Arctic region. The recommendation was given to study the capabilities of locating data processing centres in the Arctic region, which, due to low cooling costs, could be very promising — Nikolay Korchunov, Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation; Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials, Arctic Council.

Yakutia will become a hub to support communications in the Far East as a whole. We are building a data centre. We have built a modular data centre and are deploying cloud technologies in education and medicine there — Anatoly Semenov, Minister of Innovations, Digital Development and Communication Technologies of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS