Sponsored by the National Science Foundation

Co-hosted by the University of Hawaii, University of Minnesota, and Polar Geospatial Center

June 29 – July 1, 2021 Zoom Workshop, 1-5pm US CDT

Attendance capped at approximately 50
YouTube live stream of Days 1 and 3, open to all

The goal of this workshop is to produce a report outlining the science advances and impacts that would be enabled by massive improvements in digital connectivity to Antarctica.

Given recent synergistic opportunities, NSF is interested in understanding the value of a submarine fiber optic telecommunications cable from New Zealand to McMurdo Station, with terabit-scale networking capability that could eliminate current bandwidth constraints faced by researchers, educators and support functions while also reducing the latency of current satellite-based communication. The cable infrastructure can also serve as a scientific platform (a Scientific Monitoring And Reliable Telecommunications “SMART” cable) with capability to monitor ocean conditions and seismic activity.  Direct fiber connectivity to McMurdo may also enable improved connectivity to Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station and science infrastructure there.


Additional program information, including detailed schedule and background information,

is available in the Reports Documentation section above.

Day 1: Scene Setting, Lightning Talks

Day 2: Workshop Breakout Sessions

Day 3: Summary and Plan for Drafting Report

Live Stream Recording Details

The live stream recordings are available at the links below. To view the recorded chat, click “Watch on YouTube.”

Day 1

Day 3


We’re all ears! Please fill out this survey to share your thoughts and feedback about the workshop and cable initiative. We welcome insight from research scientists, US Antarctic support providers, education and outreach experts, submarine cable and digital networking experts.

Take the Survey

Organizers & Sponsor

Organizing committee
  • Bruce Howe, Chair, Joint Task Force (JTF), ITU/WMO/IOC SMART Cables for Observing the Ocean
  • Gwen Jacobs, Director of Cyberinfrastructure, University of Hawai’i
  • David Lassner, President, University of Hawai’i
  • Peter Neff, Assistant Research Professor, University of Minnesota
  • Jonathan Pundsack, Managing Director, Polar Geospatial Center – University of Minnesota
  • Heidi Roop, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota
  • Garret Yoshimi, Vice President for IT and Chief Information Officer, University of Hawai’i
Supported by

Support for this workshop is provided by the National Science Foundation (Award 2130663)