BELLA Consortium to link EU and Latin America

BELLA Consortium
© iStock/Yuri de Mesquita Bar

A fibreoptic cable is set to be built under the Atlantic Ocean to connect the EU with Latin America, in an initiative prompted by the BELLA Consortium.

The BELLA Consortium (Building a European Link to Latin America) will oversee the construction of the fibreoptic link, set to run between Portugal and Brazil and due for completion by 2020. The cable will provide high speed broadband connectivity and enhance economic, scientific and cultural exchanges between EU Member States and countries in South America.

The connection, which will initially support digital interconnectivity between Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador, aims to boost exchanges of data and research between participating nations, supporting knowledge sharing and open-source science. By providing a direct link between Europe and South America without transitional connection points, the BELLA Consortium connection will ensure high levels of data privacy; meanwhile companies based in regions served by the connection will benefit from augmented business exchanges and be able to build on existing cooperation arrangements to establish a functioning data economy.

Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society said in a joint statement detailing the new arrangements made by the BELLA Consortium: “Latin America and Europe have never been so closely connected: we are pleased to see this intercontinental cable becoming a reality. The new digital highway will support innovation for improved earth observation services, be a step forward in the creation of an EU–Latin America common research area; and tackle Latin America’s digital divide with Europe and within the region, with potential for even more collaboration in the years to come. This project also reflects the EU’s commitment to work together with Latin America towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.”


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