The submarine fiber optic cable between Brazil and Portugal, which was inaugurated last Tuesday (the first), should provide fast and stable internet to users. EllaLink, as it is known, is a file The first high capacity to connect the two countries.
Users will benefit from the structure after Internet operators, as well as broadcast and cloud and financial services, such as banks and stock exchanges, get a portion of the traffic capacity. The cable will also be used by research institutions and corporate networks.
In short, the new cable brings two improvements:
- High speed and low latency, which is the time it takes for information to move from one point to another. This is useful for services that have heavy traffic and require a short response time, such as online games and live broadcasts.
- safety: The direct connection between Brazil and Portugal reduces the risk, because the data does not need to pass through equipment from other countries, such as the United States.
With About 6 thousand kilometers, EllaLink is leaving Fortaleza, where information is also sent from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. There is also a connection with French Guiana.
From the capital of Ceará, the cable heads towards the city of Sines in Portugal, which is in turn connected by terrestrial cables to Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona and Marseille. In the Atlantic Ocean, it is also associated with Cape Verde, Mauritania and Morocco, as well as the island of Madeira and the Canary Islands.
EllaLink is the first high-speed cable between Latin America and Europe. – Photo: Art / G1
More speed, lower response time
Built to have a useful life of 25 years, the cable should ensure more speed in intercontinental communication. According to EllaLink, the company that built it, it’s designed to have a throughput of up to 72 terabits per second (Tbps). However, a The change in the final installation phase brought the number up to 100 terabytes per second.
Since 2014, other high-capacity cables similar to EllaLink have been installed between South America and North America. However, it was overtaken by the new cable between Brazil and Portugal due to another factor.
Latency, i.e. the time it takes for information to leave one point to another, from EllaLink is Less than 60 milliseconds. According to the company, the figure is a 50% decrease from what is normally recorded.
Low latency occurs because, until then, high-speed communication between Brazil and Europe relied on cables passing first through the United States. Direct routing allows data to reach its destination faster.
New submarine cable may benefit online gaming and live streaming – Photo: Soumil Kumar/Pexels
A direct connection between Latin America and Europe can improve the performance of traffic-intensive applications, says Julio Sirota, director of infrastructure at IX.br, a project of the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br).
“The installation of the new submarine cable should create shorter routes with Europe and therefore with lower latency, allowing better performance for those intending to use gaming and video streaming sources located in Europe,” he explained.
In a statement, the Brazilian government highlighted that EllaLink will improve research and education opportunities in Latin America and Europe. This is because part of the cable capacity will be allocated to an academic consortium.
The Connectivity Building Europe and Latin America (BELLA), as it is known, brings together research institutions from countries in both regions. The cable is expected to help researchers gain access to scientific equipment located in other countries.
The connection between Latin America and Europe through EllaLink provides additional security in the connection. This is because it will not need an intermediary country, such as the United States, to reach its destination.
The submarine cable project was created in 2012, but gained traction years after the exposure of a US spying scandal.
In 2013, documents leaked by Edward Snowden, a former US National Security Agency (NSA) analyst, indicated that Agency Can access emails and calls from Braziliansincluding former President Dilma Rousseff.
Edward Snowden exposed the NSA spying scandal on the Brazilian government in 2013. – Photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters/Archive
According to Sirota, calls going through the US increase potential security risks because they have to go through intermediate equipment on US soil before proceeding the rest of the way.
“From a security and privacy point of view, the lower the number of broker points, the less likely it is that undue action will be taken on the data transferred,” he said.
Another advantage of cable is what is known as network availability. With an additional route between Latin America and Europe, services can continue to operate normally even if the route through the United States is blocked.
The investment to build the submarine cable came from EllaLink, which claims to have set aside €150 million (R$923 million, at current prices). Most of the value has been sourced from companies such as the European Investment Bank (EIB), which is linked to the European Union.
Another amount was allocated by the so-called core customers. Among the most important is the BELLA consortium. The group was formed by research networks in Europe (Géant) and Latin America (Redclara), which will use part of its traffic capacity in scientific exchange, as well as the companies Cabo Verde Telecom and Emacon (Ilha da Madeira).
The European Union stated that it has invested 26.5 million euros (about 163 million Brazilian reais) through the BELLA consortium.
The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MCTI), in turn, reported that it had invested 8.9 million euros (54.8 million R$). The investment would have been made through the National Education and Research Network (RNP), a social organization affiliated with MCTI.
But EllaLink executives claim that the total contribution from the BELLA consortium was €25 million. The company claims that about 70% (17.5 million euros) of this amount came from the European Union, while the remaining 30% (7.5 million euros) was applied by Brazil.
In addition to contacting Europe, the Brazilian government has joined Argentina, Australia and New Zealand in the project A Undersea fiber optic cable that will connect South America with Asia and Oceania. The project, known as Humboldt, will cost about $400 million and expects a cable with an initial data transfer capacity of 400 Gbps.