Seminar discusses the Role of Submarine Cables for Universal Access to the Internet

- 08/11/2018

RNP Network Scientist Michael Stanton joined the Seminar ‘As Rotas invisíveis da Internet’ (The Invisible Routes of the Internet), held on October 31, at the Fundação Getúlio Vargas – FGV (Getúlio Vargas Foundation) in Rio de Janeiro. The purpose of the event was to discuss the strategic role of submarine cables for the universalization of internet access and the defense of human rights.

The Seminar is the result of two years of research on the importance of submarine cables, their governance and data protection, carried out by the French NGO Internet Sem Fronteiras (ISF) and the Instituto Brasileiro de Defesa do Consumidor – IDEC ((Brazilian Institute for Consumer Protection),  institutions that held the event. They brought together the diverse sectors involved - public sector, civil society, companies and academy - and managed to disseminate collective knowledge about the economic ecosystem of the Internet, universal access, digital sovereignty and surveillance.

Michael took part in the “Economic, Geopolitical and Surveillance Challenges” Round Table and told us a little bit about the history of submarine cables in the World, used initially for the telegraph, and had the opportunity to present RNP and our role in using this technology for research, education, and innovation in Brazil. “In addition to providing Internet services to the national academic community since the beginning of the Internet in the Country, it is  also important for RNP to participate in the reflection about the contribution of this technology to the Society. As an important player in the global academic network, our organization brings a privileged view of the possibilities of network interaction”, said the Network Scientist. Also on the table were Intervozes’ Member Jamila Venturini, and ISF Researcher, Félix Blanc.

The event also featured a Round Table on “The Challenges of Internet Infrastructure Governance in Brazil”, composed by the Adviser of the Internet Governance Committee in Brazil (, Percival Henriques, the Director of the broadband Department of the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Communications (MCTIC), Artur Coimbra, and the CEO of EllaLink (Cabos Brasil Europa S.A.), João Pedro Flecha de Lima.

According to the Director of the Brazilian Office of ISF, Florence Poznanski, the event allowed a better understanding of the challenges associated with the deployment of submarine cables in Brazil. “We also wanted to emphasize that these infrastructures must be considered as critical political objects, which have a relationship with human rights. In this sense, we understand that RNP, as an important member of the Bella Project, can contribute to strengthen the commitment of connectivity with the public interest, valuing access to knowledge and contributing to the defense of human rights”, said the Director.

Click here to watch the recording of “Economic, Geopolitical and Surveillance Challenges” Round Table, which was attended by Michael Stanton.

About Bella project

The BELLA (Building the Europe Link with Latin America) Project meets the needs of long-term interconnectivity between research and education communities in Europe and Latin America through the bidding and contracting of the Irrevocable Use Right (IRU) spectrum of a direct submarine cable between the two regions and the implementation of a research and education network with scalable capacity of multiples of 100 Gb/s throughout Latin America.

BELLA is implemented by a Consortium of Regional Networks of P&E GÉANT (Europe) and RedCLARA (Latin America), and the National P&E Networks of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. BELLA is funded by the European Commission (DG-CONNECT, DG-DEVCO and DG-GROWTH) and by the national networks of P&E in Latin American.

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