Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan have agreed to build a Trans-Caspian Fibre Optic, a communication line between the two countries along the bottom of the Caspian Sea.

Within the framework of the 12th Turkmentel 2019 telecommunications exhibition, an interstate agreement was signed between the parties on the organisation of activities for the joint construction, ownership and use of the fibre-optic communication line along the Azerbaijan-Turkmenistan route along the bottom of the Caspian Sea.

The document was signed by Azerbaijani Ambassador to Turkmenistan Hasan Zeynalov and the Head of the Turkmenaragatnashyk (Turkmen Communication) Agency under Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Industry & Communications Gadzhimurad Khudaiguliyev.

Azerbaijan’s AzerTelecom and Turkmenistan’s Turkmentelcom are the telecommunication operators of the project. The cable will run from Siyazan to Turkmenbashi.

‘This trunk line will create the Digital Silk Road between Europe and Asia. This project will allow Internet traffic from the European Internet centres through Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The cable will also contribute to the development of the telecommunications sector in both countries and the whole region, the report says.

AzerTelecom, Transtelecom and KazTransCom signed the tripartite agreement on the project in 2018. On March 19, 2019 an interstate agreement was also signed between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

On November 19, 2019, an opening ceremony was held in Aktau to commence the work on the project of the Trans-Caspian Fibre Optic cable line along the bottom of the Caspian Sea between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

Trans-Caspian Fibre Optic is a transcontinental project that will create a digital telecommunications corridor between Europe and Asia. The cable with a length of about 380-400 km along the bottom of the Caspian Sea will be laid. The cable will be put into operation by the end of 2021. It will allow the transmission of data with a capacity of at least 4-6 terabits / s.

The Trans-Caspian Fibre Optic backbone implemented as part of the Digital HUB program will play an important role in the development of fibre-optic infrastructure in the region, as well as in providing high-speed communications and modern digital services for the Caucasus, Central and South Asia, as well as other neighbouring regions.