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cables to carry almost all of its communications to Europe via Miami as the existing cable between Europe and Brazil is outdated and can only be used for voice.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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentregulationlegislationeuropean unionIslaLink Submarine CablesTelebras

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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Skywatcher Dobsonian 8″ Collapsible Telescope

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Whodunnit™ Duo-Scope MFL-007 Microscope Kit

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Logitech Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?