Mariano Rajoy stresses that ELLA-LINK cable “symbolises special ties that unite Europe and America”

During the event to launch the underwater ELLA-LINK telecommunications cable that took place in the city of Sao Paulo, the President of the Government, Mariano Rajoy, explained that the new connection will reduce the time to transmit data by 40%, as well as improve the quality, reliability and confidentiality of communications between Ibero-America and Europe.

The President of the Government commented that the new cable is “a necessary connection between Europe and Ibero-America and “an example of public-private cooperation”, in which the European Union has also played a “very important” role, with a contribution of 25 million euros.

Mariano Rajoy also pointed out that the new underwater cable, which connects the cities of Fortaleza and Lisbon – to then connect with Madrid – is “a modern connection” with a very high capacity of “no less than 72 terabytes per second”.

According to the President of the Government, the new connection between Latin America and Europe “will reduce the time to transmit data between the two continents by 40% and will also help us to improve quality, reliability and confidentiality”.

A pioneering project

After congratulating all those who participated in this “pioneering project”, Mariano Rajoy recalled that the first underwater cable between America (from the United States) and Europe was laid in 1850, but broke within a year. During the following years, technological progress led to new cables being laid, up to 15, always between North America and Europe.

Pool MoncloaThe President of the Government asserted that the ELLA-LINK is “a project that joins two continents”, a union that “symbolises the special ties that unite Europe and America and that is a manifestation of our shared past” and “a future full of opportunities”. In short, he added, “it is a project with tremendous strategic value” and with a “vocation to be extended” to the Pacific coast (to connect with the European Southern Observatory in Chile).

Mariano Rajoy also stated that the new underwater connection will lead to the parallel development of other projects, such as the Bella Project (a consortium of scientific and academic networks from the two continents), the Clara network (which works to strengthen the development of science, culture, education and innovation in Latin America) and the Geam Network (located in Europe).

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Spanish and Brazilian governments team up for submarine cable

Planned for 2019, EllaLink aims to keep data out of the reach of the US government

Spanish and Brazilian government officials have confirmed that a proposed fiber optic submarine cable between the two countries has been given the go-ahead

The 9,200 km-long (5,700 mile) EllaLink, previously known as EulaLink, will connect to data centers in Madrid, Lisbon and São Paulo, as well as connecting to Fortazela, the archipelagoes of Madeira, Spain’s Canary Islands and Africa’s Cape Verde. A 72Tbps cable, it will be the first between fiber optic submarine cable between Europe and Brazil, with the only existing direct link being a 20Gb copper cable laid in 1999.

Continental shift

EllaLink, a partnership between Spanish submarine cable operator IslaLink and Brazilian telecoms provider Telebras, will be operator neutral. Alcatel Submarine Networks will be responsible for the project.

The European Commission provided €25 million ($27.2m) in financial support for the cable, as part of its Building Europe Link to Latin America (BELLA) initiative. Current cost estimates were not provided, but when a version of EllaLink was announced by then-Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in 2014, it was pegged at $185 million.

At an announcement ceremony in São Paulo this week, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoya said that the cable “will reduce the time to transmit data between the two continents by 40 percent and will also help us to improve quality, reliability and confidentiality.”

Confidentiality was previously touted as a key reason for the cable, with communications between Brazil and the EU currently routed through North America, despite the fact that the Iberian peninsula is roughly 60 kilometers (37mi) closer to Fortaleza than to Miami.

The question of United States’ dominance in matters of Atlantic Ocean submarine cable affairs came to the fore in 2013, after a series of damaging revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor, brought to light the extent of the agency’s surveillance operations.

Rousseff, who in 2013 postponed a state visit to Washington after it was revealed the NSA spied on her email account and phone records, said in 2014 when announcing the cable: “We have to respect privacy, human rights and the sovereignty of nations. We don’t want businesses to be spied upon.”

She continued: “The Internet is one of the best things man has ever invented. So we agreed for the need to guarantee … the neutrality of the network, a democratic area where we can protect freedom of expression.”

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Spain, Brazil plan subsea fiber optic cable by 2019

reuters logoSAO PAULO, April 24 (Reuters) – The Spanish and Brazilian governments have teamed up to lay an undersea cable in the Atlantic Ocean to offer fast online and cloud services to citizens of both countries by 2019, underscoring efforts to rout communications outside North America.

The EllaLink subsea cable will connect to data centers in Madrid and São Paulo, as well as in Lisbon, using shielded fiber rings, officials said on Monday. The cable will also connect the archipelagoes of Madeira, Spain’s Canary Islands and Africa’s Cape Verde along the route, they added.

At an event in São Paulo, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the venture to build the first subsea fiber optic cable linking Europe to Brazil should help improve data security and privacy by routing calls and internet navigation outside the reach of the United States.

The idea gained traction almost four years after former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and other officials were target of personal and economic espionage by U.S. intelligence agencies.

Documents leaked by former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden in 2013 showed the U.S. National Security Agency had tapped Rousseff’s telephone calls and those of millions of other Brazilians.

The 9,200 km-long (5,700-mile), 72-terabytes-per-second- capacity subsea cable is about seven times the size of existing communications capacity between Latin America and the rest of the world, said Alfonso Gajate, president of EulaLink, one of the partners in the venture. No cost estimates were provided.

The only existing direct link between Europe and South America is a 20-Gb copper cable laid in 1999 by a consortium of voice operators. (Reporting by Brad Haynes; Writing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Peter Cooney).

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