The Brazilian Department of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (MCTIC) and RNP inaugurated, on August 9, the first phase of the Ciência Conectada [Connected Science] – Ciência Forte MCTIC program, which will expand fiber-optic broadband infrastructure to the Northern and Northeast regions. The inauguration ceremony, attended by Minister Marcos Pontes, was held in the auditorium of Instituto Metrópole Digital in Natal (Rio Grande do Norte State, Brazil).
Ciência Conectada is the expansion and internalization of RNP cyber infrastructure, the Ipê network, which has been expanding its speed from 10 to 100 Gigabits per second, a thousand times the domestic broadband capacity. This action will benefit federal universities, federal institutes, and research units, as well as foster local economy and development.
The first phase of the program will reach 16 hub cities in the countryside this year, and until the project completion, 6,500 fiber-optic km will be activated, reaching 77 locations. Universities, institutes, teaching hospitals and innovation hubs will be the anchors of digital inclusion in the territory. It is estimated that an $ 80 million investment could leverage at least the same amount in a new broadband infrastructure in the region in these cities.
"Today, we celebrate the arrival of 100 Gb/s here in the Northeast, in five states, and 16 locations. 100 Gigabits is a thousand times the capacity we have in our houses. A city, if it wants to be relevant for the next 100 years, will require abundant band and talent,” the RNP general director, Nelson Simões, assured during the inauguration.
For Minister Marcos Pontes, the network expansion is fundamental for the region development. The Northeast Stage is the beginning of a project that will cover the entire country. It will renew the internet network capacity for other regions, improving research, education, knowledge, and projects of the served entities. “Knowledge emanates from the university and irrigates the economic and social development. RNP plays an essential role and, if it depends on MCTIC, we will work more and more to internalize this network,” he said.
The release ended with the unveiling of a plate at the Presence Point of RNP in Rio Grande do Norte (PoP-RN). Also attending the ceremony was the dean of Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, José Daniel Diniz Melo.