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News > Brazil

Brazil to Build an Internet Ring to Serve the Amazon Population

  • Laying of aquatic cables in an Amazon river.

    Laying of aquatic cables in an Amazon river. | Photo: Twitter/ @PiresEnio

Published 7 August 2023
Opinion

The laying of the cables through the rivers will make it possible to preserve 58 million trees.

On Monday, Brazilian President Lula da Silva announced the construction of an Internet cable network that will serve the inhabitants of isolated areas of the Amazon basin and will be connected to eight South American countries.

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"We want to take care of the forests, the water and the fauna. Above all, however, we want to take care of the people who live in the Amazon," Lula said in Santarem, a city that is located in the jungle some 700 kilometers from Belem.

In its first phase, the "Connected North" program will build a fiber optic cable laying in the Amazon rivers. It will depart from Santarem to dozens of towns in the Amazon that have not had adequate Internet connections up to now.

Subsequently, the underwater cable network will be extended to border cities of the other seven Amazonian countries: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.

The tweet reads, "Lula is already in Tapajos inaugurating Infovia 01 Santarem-Manaus, which will guarantee broadband Internet to the municipalities of the region. He also made an important visit to the Abare hospital-school ship and monitored the Health Ministry's work on telemedicine."

When completed, the project will have installed 12,000 kilometers of cables that will bring Internet to some 10 million people living in hard-to-reach areas. This will require investments that have been estimated at some US$265 billion. 

The laying of the cables through the rivers will make it possible to preserve 58 million trees, which would have to be felled if the networks were installed on land.

On Tuesday, Belem will host a high-level summit with the members of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), which includes Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.

At this meeting, Lula da Silva hopes to commit ACTO countries to implement concrete policies to stop the crisis in the Amazon forest, which is affected by high rates of deforestation, illegal mining, the growing presence of drug trafficking, and harassment of Indigenous peoples.

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