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Contract that will enable new Internet speeds between Europe and Latin America signed


The "Irrevocable Right of Use Agreement" (IRU) was signed for the commissioning of a new optical submarine cable between Brazil and Portugal to strengthen the Internet connection and data traffic between Europe and Latin America. EllaLink will be implemented in the framework of the BELLA (Building European Link to Latin America) project by a consortium that includes FCT - Foundation for Science and Technologythrough its parent company National Scientific Computing Unitthe entity that manages the RCTS (Science, Technology and Society Network).

The cable, almost 10,000 km long, will allow for a data transmission speed of 100Gbs/second (much higher than the current 10Gbs/second), meeting the transatlantic sharing and collaboration needs of the research and teaching communities in Europe and Latin America over the next 25 years, in areas such as astronomy, particle physics and Earth observation. EllaLink should be operational by the end of 2020, and Portugal will act as the termination of the submarine system in Europe.

GÉANT - the main European association of electronic infrastructures and services for research and education, of which FCT is a member - has been connected to RedCLARA - the Latin American academic network - since 2003. However, there is no undersea cable capable of supporting the research and education data transmission needs between Europe and Latin America. With EllaLink, traffic will flow directly between the two continents, improving data protection and optimizing the cost/benefit of connectivity.

Having a spectrum of an intercontinental submarine cable between Europe and Latin America that can be deployed and upgraded according to the high connectivity requirements for research and education is a totally new model for international connections, which provides the flexibility and cost-effectiveness needed to meet users' needs. "I am delighted to see the cuminar of work with our colleagues in the BELLA Consortium, reflected in the signing of the BELLA contract with EllaLink," says Erik Huizer, CEO of GÉANT. "It will be exciting to see the deployment of a submarine cable up close, and we look forward to seeing the exchange between GÉANT and RedCLARA made over a direct physical path between the two continents for the first time in 2020," he concludes.

Luis Eliécer Cadenas, Executive Director of RedCLARA and Co-Chair of the BELLA Consortium, points out that "This milestone is a key achievement for the Latin American research and education community. We are opening a direct channel of collaboration with Europe, ensuring security and quality of service for the varied scientific and educational applications we hope to offer. RedCLARA is committed to building a data communications infrastructure for research and education that will foster regional development. The BELLA submarine cable is the first step towards that goal.