Brazil opens call to expand Amazon fiber backbone consortium

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, November 03, 2022
Brazil opens call to expand Amazon fiber backbone consortium

Brazilian research and educational network RNP launched a call to select more companies to join the consortium of operators responsible for the operation and commercial use of Infovia 00, the first stretch of a landmark Amazon River fiber backbone project. 

Known as Norte Conectado, the project was created by the communications ministry with the goal of expanding communications infrastructure in the Amazon region through underwater fiber, comprising eight stretches (infovias or info-lanes) along rivers in the Amazon basin.

Linked to the science, technology and innovations ministry (MCTI), RNP was responsible for the first stretch, Infovia 00, due to its expertise with educational backbone connectivity and because the government wanted to test the model. 

This stretch was completed in February, running 770km from Macapá (Amapá state) to Alenquer (Pará), and began operating in July.

Italy’s Prysmian was the cable supplier, having been contracted in 2017 for US$5.54mn. The cables were manufactured in Germany. 

In August, six companies signed contracts to form the consortium to use Infovia 00: Aquamar, BRDigital, ClickIP/ICOM Telecom, SEA Telecom, Fortel/Wirelink and Telefónica.

Each has the right to make commercial use of a pair of optical fibers from the subfluvial cable for at least 15 years. The same conditions will apply to new entrants.

The public sector will be able to use six of the 48 pairs of optical fibers on the cable.

RNP now plans to select up to six new companies interested in joining the group. 

If the number of interested parties is greater, RNP said it will classify them according to a scoring system.

Further details on the call can be found here.


The government plans to launch the second stretch of Norte Conectado, Infovia 01, next March.

The qualification process for operators and providers interested in sharing the infrastructure of Infovia 01 was launched in September. 

According to the government, a minimum of three and a maximum of 12 companies will be selected for this new consortium.

Infovia 01 will be 1,100km long, connecting Santarém (Pará) to Manaus (Amazonas), with branches to Óbidos (Pará), Juriti (Pará), Parintins (Amazonas), Urucurituba (Amazonas) and Itacoatiara (Amazonas), as well as deviations to Oriximiná (Pará), Terra Santa (Pará) and Autazes (Amazonas).

While RNP has a representative on Norte Conectado’s steering committee, the entity will not be the coordinator of Infovia 01 or of the program’s subsequent stretches.

EAD (Seja Digital) will be in charge of Infovia 01. The group comprises telcos and broadcasters that will oversee the use of resources related to TV digitization as part of the 2014 700MHz spectrum auction obligations. 

As reported exclusively by BNamericas, EAD hired Chinese fiber optics manufacturer Hengtong as the cable supplier for the second stretch.

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