The dramatic reduction of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean will increase human activities in the coming years. This activity will be driven by increased demand for energy and the marine resources of an Arctic Ocean accessible to ships. Oil and gas exploration, fisheries, mineral extraction, marine transportation, research and development, tourism, and search and rescue will increase the pressure on the vulnerable Arctic environment. Technologies that allow synoptic in situ observations year-round are needed to monitor and forecast changes in the Arctic atmosphere-ice-ocean system at daily, seasonal, annual, and decadal scales. These data can inform and enable both sustainable development and enforcement of international Arctic agreements and treaties, while protecting this critical environment. In this paper, we discuss multipurpose acoustic networks, including subsea cable components, in the Arctic. These networks provide communication, power, underwater and under-ice navigation, passive monitoring of ambient sound (ice, seismic, biologic, and anthropogenic), and acoustic remote sensing (tomography and thermometry), supporting and complementing data collection from platforms, moorings, and vehicles. We support the development and implementation of regional to basin-wide acoustic networks as an integral component of a multidisciplinary in situ Arctic Ocean observatory.