Amazonia program

Brazil’s Connected Amazonia Program will include Nexans submarine fibre-optic cables. The total project aims to bring internet to four million people in the Amazon Rainforest. The project comprises 7,700km of cables to connect 52 municipal areas through five separate cable routes on and beneath riverbeds because of the unique environment in the Amazon.

For Brazil’s Connected Amazonia Program, one of the largest submarine fibre projects in the world, the 275km of Nexans cables will be installed in riverbeds between Coari and Tefé. The entire network will be made up of five data highways: Upper Negro River, Upper Solimões, Madeira, Purus and Juruá.

For this project, Nexans recommended using high-performance cables that have a minimal environmental impact. This allows the project to serve the needs of local communities while preserving the fragile Amazon Rainforest ecosystem. Nexans supplied cables that will not release harmful substances into the delicate river ecosystem and therefore have no negative impact on the environment. The fibre-optic cables from Nexans’ URC-1 family of cables meet all international standards for submarine cables.

To handle the strong currents in the river that occur throughout the year, a flat-bottomed barge will be used as the cable-laying vessel. For additional security, five support vessels will accompany the cable-laying barge. In the future, local teams with specialist tools can maintain the cables.

The Connected Amazonia Program aims to bring a high-quality internet connection to the State of Amazonas, not only to connect residents to the internet, but also to enable telemedicine, distance learning and greater interconnection between health, security and traffic services. The programme aims to do this while minimising the environment impact of the installation.

Brazil is ranked fourth in the world for the number of users accessing the internet and this will only grow with this project, which connects native and riverside communities in the Amazon to the internet. In order to provide a premium service, the cables were manufactured at Nexans Norway, a specialist plant focussing on high-performance ethernet solutions, and shipped to Brazil for installation.

Nexans Norway director Ragnar Vogt said: "This project will do more than connect native people to the internet. It will bring investment, improved healthcare and better access to education to traditionally isolated regions. We are proud to be helping to bring technology to the Amazon Rainforest. Nexans is looking forward to the challenge of working in such a unique environment. To ensure the programme got all the expertise we could offer, the Norwegian and Brazilian teams worked together to combine technological and local area knowledge."