Telebras Plans Brazil-Europe Submarine Cable

According to FOX NEWS, Brazilian state-owned telecom provider Telebras announced on February 12 plans to form a joint venture with Spain's IslaLink Submarine Cables to lay and operate a Brazil-Europe submarine cable. The Brazil-Europe submarine cable project is expected to cost $185 million and be completed in 2016.

Telebras said its board of directors approved a preliminary accord to create the joint venture, in which the Brazilian company will have a 35 percent stake, IslaLink will have a 45 percent interest and investment funds will hold the remaining 20 percent.

The trans-Atlantic cable is of "strategic" importance because it will enable direct communication between Brazil and Europe, Caio Bonilha said Wednesday in his final press conference as CEO of Telebras.

There is now only one submarine cable connecting Brazil and Europe, i.e., the ATLANTIS-2 submarine cable system. Telebras is a partner in the only existing ATLANTIS-2 Brazil-Europe submarine cable. And the ATLANTIS-2 is mainly used for voice transmission.

Currently, the vast majority of Brazil's global Internet traffic is routed through the United States.  

In responding to the US NSA's spying at Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's communications and hacking into the state-owned Petrobras oil company’s network and spying on Brazilians who entrusted their personal data to U.S. tech companies such as Facebook and Google, the Brazilian President ordered in September 2013 a series of measures to break away from the U.S.-centric Internet.

The planned Brazil-Europe submarine cable shows a further action for Brazil to step away from the US-centric internet.

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