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Construction of new undersea fiber-optic cable will bring Europe and Latin America closer together

The green light has been given for the construction of an undersea fiber optic cable for data transmission that will directly link Europe and Latin America. This intercontinental cable, named EllaLink, will connect the ground stations at Sines in Portugal and Fortaleza in Brazil. With the final agreement between EllaLink and Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), construction should begin in the early months of 2019.

The announcement was made by GÉANT and RedCLARA, which, on behalf of the BELLA Consortium (Building the Europe Link to Latin America) - of which FCT is part -, communicated the formalization of the agreement between EllaLink and Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) for the construction of the submarine cable that will connect Europe and Latin America. Through the BELLA project, transmission capacity has been acquired in the new submarine cable, which will enable high capacities of Internet traffic exchange for research and education between the two continents, with a data transmission speed of 100Gbs/second, ten times faster than the current one.

The first phase of the work involves analyzing the ocean floor to define the route of the undersea cable and manufacturing the necessary materials. The first data transmission via the new cable is planned for the end of 2020.

EllaLink will be implemented within the BELLA project (Building European Link to Latin America) by a consortium of which the FCT is part, through its National Scientific Computing Unit - the Portuguese National Education and Research Network. The cable, almost 10,000 km long, will meet the transatlantic sharing and collaboration needs of the research and teaching communities in Europe and Latin America over the next 25 years.