In the city of Sines, Portugal, the first submarine fiber optic cable that directly connects Brazil and Europe was inaugurated. The project was financed by the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MCTI), which invested €8.9 million; by the European Commission, which contributed €25 million; and by the company EllaLink, which invested €150 million.
The minister of MCTI, Marcos Pontes, participated, in the ceremony that marked the beginning of operations. “This cable is very important for science in Brazil because it allows the exchange of information more effectively between continents. We will need this more and more.”
The submarine cable is 6,000 kilometers long, directly connecting the city of Fortaleza (Brazil) to Sines (Portugal), without the need for the data to pass through the United States. “Currently, we don’t have a direct connection, we have to pass the information across the United States. This cable allows for much greater data traffic, much higher speed, that is, less latency time”, explained Minister Marcos Pontes.
The project for the interconnection between the two sides of the Atlantic, connecting Brazil to Europe with a high-capacity link, is an action of the Digital Diálogo Brasil União Europeia. The initiative is coordinated by the Secretary of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Paulo Alvim, and has been in existence for over 14 years.
The coordination of the use of the submarine cable in Brazil is under the responsibility of the National Education and Research Network (RNP), a social organization of the MCTI.
The cable connection will enhance research and education opportunities in Latin America and Europe over 25 years. Part of the capacity of the submarine cable will be used by the Consortium Building the Europe Link with Latin America (BELLA), an academic interconnection project that brings together several research institutions from countries in Europe and Latin America, including RNP. Cable connectivity will allow Brazilian researchers to access scientific equipment in Europe and vice versa.