Why not just use a land cable that goes around the Sea of Okhotsk? A land cable is safer, and tapping it is harder. I screen cap Google Maps. enter image description here I know the undersea cable is more direct, but did it speed up communication that much? Operation Ivy Bells - Wikipedia.

In the early 1970s the U.S. government learned of the existence of an undersea communications cable in the Sea of Okhotsk, which connected the major Soviet Pacific Fleet naval base at Petropavlovsk on the Kamchatka Peninsula to the Soviet Pacific Fleet's mainland headquarters at Vladivostok.[2]:172 At the time, the Sea of Okhotsk was claimed by the Soviet Union as territorial waters, and was strictly off limits to foreign vessels, and the Soviet Navy had installed a network of sound detection devices along the seabed to detect intruders. The area also saw numerous surface and subsurface naval exercises.

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    Maybe it was cheaper and faster to lay the cable underwater than to string it through what I think is very rugged countryside. – kimchi lover May 3 '20 at 23:08
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    Do you know when the cable was laid? – kimchi lover May 3 '20 at 23:50
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    I would challenge you to support your claim that a land cable is safer & harder to tap? Especially given the sort of detection devices you describe. – jamesqf May 4 '20 at 2:36
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    Kamchatka is not easily accessible overland. There's simply no ground connection between Petropavlovsk and Vladivostok: no road, no railway. – default locale May 4 '20 at 10:25
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    It's not just a bit shorter - it's actually way shorter in terms of distance. Add to this price of establishing and supporting communication and you'll see that it's actually way cheaper. And actually it's a very common practice - very often something is wired through water. – shabunc May 4 '20 at 22:34

Laying a land cable would be prohibitively expensive. The main reason is not the large distance but the fact that most of this territory is completely undeveloped: it has no roads. If you look at the Google map carefully you see that there is still no roads there. This is a thinly populated wilderness.

  • I agree with your conclusion, but the statement about a complete lack of roads is too broad. It is a "thinly populated wilderness", but are some roads -- look in the vicinity of any medium sized town. – Aaron Brick May 4 '20 at 17:50
  • Local roads in the neighborhoods of the settlements do not help in this task. – Alex May 4 '20 at 21:14

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