Europe and Brazil will be linked by an undersea fibre optic cable by 2019. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the link symbolises the ties between the two continents. EURACTIV Spain reports.
Rajoy made the trip to Brazil to meet with the country’s president, Michel Temer, and he presided over the ceremony that unveiled the massive project.
The planned cable will be 10,000 km long and stretch all the way from São Paulo to Madrid, via Madeira, the Canaries and Cape Verde. The wire will have a capacity of 72 terabits per second.
The Ellalink project will be carried out by Alcatel Submarine Networks, after the inital idea was put into motion in June 2015 by EULALINK and Telebrás.
Rajoy was joined at the ceremony by Brazil’s foreign minister and its science and technology minister, Aloysio Nunes and Glberto Kassab, respectively. It was revealed that the project will reduce data transmission times by 40%.
“We will benefit in terms of quality, reliability and confidence in the link between Latin American and Europe,” Rajoy said.
The PM added that the project should help improve data security and privacy by routing calls and internet navigation outside the reach of the United States.
Documents released by US whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013 showed that the National Security Agency (NSA) had tapped the phone of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff
Kassab said that the project will unite Spain and Brazil even further, adding to a long history of collaboration.
The science minister insisted that the link will not only benefit the two countries but both continents as well.
EULALINK President Alfonso Gajate also highlighted the importance of the link to Brazil-Europe relations and said the cable will be available to anyone who wants to use it.
He added that the project will be of great importance to the financial sector and the world of science. The new link will have seven times the capacity that Latin America currently has.
Telebrás President Antonio Loss also pointed out the benefits the cable will have on the international scientific community.
The only current link between Europe and South America is a low-capacity copper cable that dates back to 1999.