Launch of Infovia 00 of the Norte Conectado Program is concluded

- 04/02/2022

The National Education and Research Network (RNP) finalized the launch of the Infovia 00 subfluvial optical cable, a pilot project of the Amazônia Integrada Sustentável Program, which is part of the Norte Conectado Program of the Ministry of Communications. The work started on 1/20, in Macapá (AP), and passed through Almeirim, Monte Alegre and Santarém until reaching its final destination, Alenquer (PA). In all, 705 km of optical fiber cables were laid in the bed of the Amazon River. In the same period, containers (data centers) were also installed in these locations.

After the cable laying stage, the last works were carried out to pass the land cables in the mooring boxes and, from these, to the containers. Then, the stage of installing the equipment of the DWDM System will begin, for lighting the route and offering connectivity services in the region, scheduled to begin in February.

Low environmental impact

The project is considered to have a low environmental impact, since it uses river beds to reach the population and does not require deforestation, which would happen if the cables were installed by land.

Before its launch, an Enhanced Route Study was necessary, which evaluated the conditions of the riverbed to trace the best route to be followed by the cable. “A detailed survey was carried out along the planned route to verify the geometric and material characteristics of this route. This required a specialized operation, which had to be carried out with great care and attention, while maintaining its continuity, even in difficult times of a pandemic”, explains Eduardo Grizendi, director of Engineering & Operations at RNP.

The pilot project involved an investment of R$ 94 million and connects the municipalities of Macapá, Almeirim, Monte Alegre, Santarém and Alenquer, independently, through four cable segments.

RNP is responsible for the execution of Infovia 00, and had the services of the following partners: Navegação Prates, owner of the vessel and responsible for launching the cable; Manaós, responsible for anchoring the cable; and EGS, for controlling the route and bathymetry (measurement of the river's depth), in addition to the support of city halls and local public universities for its implementation.

Social impact

With Infovia 00, it is estimated that over one million people in the North region will benefit from high-speed internet, especially riverside communities, making it possible to develop the region and strengthen public policies on education, health and safety.

It also promotes digital inclusion in the municipalities it serves, since its operation and maintenance will be carried out by a Neutral Operator, structured in the form of an open consortium of operators and providers, which will be able to make use of optical fibers from the cable deployed.

“This business model allows the use of fibers to serve both the public and private sectors. In other words, operators and providers can take advantage of this infrastructure and provide telecommunications services to the general population in these locations in the North region”, explains Eduardo Grizendi.

About the Norte Conectado Program

The Norte Conectado Program is led by the Ministry of Communications (MCOM), and envisages the construction of infoways using the Amazonian river beds in order to expand the communications infrastructure in the North Region.

There will be eight infovias on the Amazon, Negro, Solimões, Madeira, Purus, Juruá and Rio Branco rivers, reaching a total coverage of about 12,000 km, directly connecting 58 municipalities and serving a population of about 10 million inhabitants.

The program is an action that also has other partner ministries - Education (MEC) and Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), in addition to the support of the National Council of Justice and the Federal Senate.

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