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BELLA: EllaLink cable gets go-ahead

GÉANT and RedCLARA, on behalf of the BELLA (Building the Europe Link to Latin America) Consortium, are delighted to announce that EllaLink and Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) have finalised agreements for the construction of the EllaLink submarine fibre optic cable system that will provide direct connectivity between Europe and Latin America. Through the agreement with EllaLink, BELLA will receive spectrum on the new submarine cable, to support research and education networking between the two continents, for the lifetime of the system.

Construction of the EllaLink fibre optic cable system, which will link the two regions between landing stations in Sines, Portugal, and Fortaleza, Brazil, will begin in early 2019. The process will start with a survey of the ocean floor to determine the cable route, followed by the manufacture of the cable system. In the meanwhile, the landing stations’ exact locations will be identified and made available in time for completion of the marine installation. It is forecast that the first data packets will start flowing across the EllaLink submarine cable system by the end of 2020.

Erik Huizer, CEO for GÉANT commented: “We are delighted to celebrate with our partners this very significant milestone for the BELLA Programme that, over this cable system, will provide reserved capacity between European and Latin American research and education communities, supporting open science and knowledge-sharing, with a strong impact on Earth Observation services, especially Copernicus. I believe that the programme’s positive repercussions will benefit not only Research & Education at global level, but also society at large”.

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