Brazil became the second South American country, after Argentina, to join Chile's 14,810km trans-Pacific submarine cable project, which will connect South America, Oceania, and Asia.
The "Humboldt" fiber-optic cable project is an initiative is under the responsibility of Chilean state-owned company Desarrollo País (former Fondo de Infraestructura), which will lead an alliance of interested countries and private technology and telecommunications companies.
The 14,810-kilometer cable, composed of eight optical fibers with an initial data transmission capacity of up to 400 gigabits per second (Gbps), will connect Valparaiso (Chile) with Sydney (Australia), passing through Auckland (New Zealand).
Brazil’s entry was announced at a videoconference between Brazil’s communications minister, Fábio Faria, and foreign minister Carlos França, with their Chilean counterparts, Gloria Hutt and Andrés Allamand.
A Reuters report cited Chile’s foreign minister Andres saying that Brazil’s decision to formally join the initiative was critical to making the cable project a reality.
“The incorporation of Brazil to this project gives it a definitive economic viability, and at the same time a definitive political viability as well,” Allamand said. Argentina has already joined the effort, and Allamand said he expected Paraguay, Uruguay, and Bolivia to also sign-on.
The connection from Australia to Asia is via five cables that are already in operation.
Brazilian officials also said the total investment will be about US$400mn, and the expected public-private concession will probably have a 25-year term.