GÉANT, Europe’s leading collaboration on e-infrastructure and services for research and education, and RedCLARA, the Latin American Research and Education Network, today announced the signing of an Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU) contract with EllaLink, for spectrum on a direct submarine cable connecting Europe and Latin America.

Procured on behalf of the BELLA Consortium, the BELLA IRU will provide for the transatlantic data-sharing and collaboration needs of the European and Latin American research and education communities for the next quarter of a century, in areas such as astronomy, particle physics, and earth observation. With funding from the European Union (EU) and the Latin American NREN community, the IRU represents a key financial element in the building of the EllaLink cable, which is expected to be operational in late 2020.

GÉANT and RedCLARA were first interconnected in 2003 under the EU-funded ALICE project to support scientific and academic collaboration between the two continents. Since then connections speeds have grown by over 1,600% from 622 Megabits per second (Mbps) to the current 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps). However, there is no direct submarine cable capable of supporting research and education data needs between Europe and Latin America, limiting capacity and cost-effectiveness.

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