EU mulling investment in South America-Europe undersea cable

New cable would circumvent NSA spying - Brazilian President

The European Union is considering helping to fund a $185-million project to lay an undersea cable from Brazil to Europe.

The project, which is already under way, is being carried out by Brazilian telecoms provider Telebras and Spain's IslaLink Submarine Cables.

The project is of strategic importance to "guarantee the neutrality" of the Internet, said Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff following a Brazil-E.U. summit in Brussels on Monday. Brazil currently relies on U.S. undersea cables to carry almost all of its communications to Europe via Miami as the existing cable between Europe and Brazil is outdated and can only be used for voice.

Although the issue was not formally on the summit agenda, both Rousseff and E.U. leaders are worried about U.S. National Security Agency surveillance. Rousseff postponed a state visit to Washington last year in protest at spying on her phone, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose mobile phone was also tapped, last week called for a E.U.-only cloud. Rousseff said Brazil and the European Union have "similar concerns" about U.S. dominance of fibre-optic cables.

"Since we ourselves at EU are keen to promote a globalised system of internet governance, this is an idea that is of interest to a lot of people," said a European Commission source on Tuesday. "However, this is a commercial venture and we are assessing possible public participation, but it's too early to say what might happen," he added.

The building of a cable has been a priority for both Brazil and the E.U. since 2010, and was reconfirmed at a summit of EU and Latin American heads of state in Santiago de Chile in January 2013. However, it is unlikely that the E.U. would agree to public funding equal to that of Brazil.

Talks between the E.U. and the South American trade bloc Mercosur have stalled recently and new dates will be decided after a technical meeting of negotiators on March 21. The issue of a South America-Europe cable is likely to now be on the agenda.

"The plans for the future installation of a fibre-optic submarine cable linking Brazil and Europe, will improve communications between the two continents, facilitate the take-up of broadband, stimulate ICT investments, reduce the interconnectivity costs for our businesses and researchers and enhance the protection of communications and provide better functional characteristics," said Rousseff in a joint statement with European Council President, Herman Van Rompuy, and European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags regulationeuropean unionTelebrasIslaLink Submarine Cableslegislationgovernment

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?