The North of Brazil is internationally known for the Amazon, owner of the longest river in the world and the greatest biodiversity on the planet. The region is cut by about 10,000 km of hydrographic basin and its cities are located, for the most part, on the banks of these tributaries. Precisely because of such unique geographic characteristics, the region lacks telecommunications infrastructure and poses major connectivity challenges.
In 2012, a project that came out of the academic community gained notoriety by the Brazilian academic network, RNP, by proposing the construction of a mesh of submerged optical cables, to be installed in riverbeds, with technology similar to submarine cables. Ten years later, in January 2022, Infovia 00 was completed, with 705 km of optical cable laid in the bed of the Amazon River, passing through five cities that together add up to 1 million inhabitants. A communications infrastructure never seen before in the North region, with low environmental impact and great social impact.
The pilot project was carried out by RNP and coordinated by the Ministry of Communications in Brazil, within the Norte Conectado Program. Prior to its launch, it included an Improved Route Study, which assessed the conditions of the river bed to outline the best route for the cable to travel, and a transshipment stage, to remove the cable from the vessel coming from Germany. The launch of the optical cable lasted about 15 days, between 1/20 and 2/5, and involved a multidisciplinary team of more than 60 people.
Infovia 00 is the first of eight infovias, which will connect a total of 58 cities with 12,000 km of sub-fluvial optical cables, benefiting up to 10 million people. In addition to high-speed Internet access and service to local teaching and research institutions, the expectation is that the project will leverage economic development in the region and strengthen public policies in education, health, security, defense and the judiciary.
In addition to its great social impact, the project is also considered to have a low environmental impact, since, as it uses riverbeds, it does not require deforestation, as it would if the cables were installed overland. So far, communication services in the interior of the Amazon are largely provided via satellite coverage, which affects quality and implies high costs.
The launch of Infovia 00 represents a milestone not only for Brazil, which comes closer to integrating the North region with the rest of the country, but also for South America, with the possibility of integration with neighboring countries that make up the Pan-Amazon region. Connecting the Amazon to the world means having more means to explore its richness and having access to data that can give rise to new scientific research in different areas of knowledge.
Check out in the documentary below on how the implementation process of Infovia 00 was, the first of eight infovias of the Norte Conectado Program, an initiative of the Ministry of Communications, carried out by RNP.
To learn more: https://www.rnp.br/projetos/norte-conectado/.