Thousands of kilometres of fibre optic cables will be laid across the Amazon to connect remote communities to internet

Amazonia connected to internet via massive fibre-optic cables

A large-scale project to connect remote communities across the Amazonian rainforest to the internet is due to begin, taking advantage of cutting-edge fibre-optic technology.

Overall, 7,700km of fibre optic cables will be laid across the Amazonian region to connect 52 municipal areas as part of the Connected Amazonia Program that aims not only to improve connectivity but also to provide access to services such as telemedicine and distance learning.

Cables will be laid directly on or buried beneath the Amazon’s riverbed in five separate data highways covering the Upper Negro river, Upper Solimões, Madeira, Purus and Juruá.

To minimise the impact on, and disruption to, the precious ecosystem, the project’s managers selected Nexan’s URC-1 submarine cables, which have been tested and proven not to release harmful substances into the environment.

Overall, 275km of submarine cables will be installed between Coari and Tefé from a flat-bottomed barge that can withstand strong currents that occur in the world’s largest river all year round.

“This project will do more than connect native people to the internet,” said Ragnar Vogt, director at Nexans Norway, manufacturer of the cables. “It will bring investment, improved healthcare and better access to education to traditionally isolated regions.”

Some four million inhabitants of the Brazilian part of the rainforest will benefit from the development.

Brazil is currently ranked fourth in the world for the number of users accessing the Internet. This number will grow significantly with this project, which connects native and riverside communities in the Amazon to the Internet.

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