Brazilian army contributes to the expansion of fiber optics in the AmazonBrazilian army contributes to the expansion of fiber optics in the Amazon

Breves (PA) – The Sustainable Integrated Amazon Program, which brings fiber optics to riverside towns from Pará to Amapá, has arrived in Breves, in the Marajó archipelago. This is another stage in the program to expand telecommunications networks in the Amazon region.

At this stage, more than 620 km of submerged fiber optic cables are being laid in the Amazon rivers. The next destination will be Macapá (AP), which is expected to arrive in the first week of April.

To ensure that the cables are laid properly, 35 soldiers from the Northern Military Command are providing asset and personal security for what is one of the largest connectivity projects in the world. In 2015, the Brazilian Army pioneered the action of laying submerged cables along the rivers of northern Brazil, with the Connected Amazon Project.

“This project was born out of the need to improve the communications of military organizations located in the Amazon, given that at the time we only had satellite communications. We needed to increase the command and control capacity of these organizations with the upper echelon in Manaus,” explained Lieutenant Colonel Anderson Barretto, a PAC advisor at the Army’s Integrated Telematics Centre.

It was based on the positive experience in the state of Amazonas, linking the capital Manaus with more distant municipalities such as São Gabriel da Cachoeira, Tefé and Barcelos, that the Federal Government set up the Sustainable Integrated Amazon Program (PAIS), with the aim of expanding the communications infrastructure in the Amazon region by deploying fiber optic transport networks. The program is coordinated by the Ministry of Communications and has the Army’s Science and Technology Department and the Army’s Integrated Telematics Center as representatives of the Ministry of Defense, acting as agents to follow up and monitor the Program.

For Defense, the project contributes to improving military communications in the Amazon region, supporting the protection and security of national territory. Due to its innovative characteristics and scope, it is a dual application project – civilian and military – which represents a historic milestone in the country’s communications.

“Given the need for technology, for digital inclusion, this is an action that will bring not only the Internet, but also opportunities for local commerce and regional development,” said Nuno Alves, a specialist in underwater optical cable projects at the Entidade Administradora da Faixa, the non-governmental, non-profit organization responsible for implementing Infovia.

“In Amazonas, through the networks set up by the Connected Amazon Project, hospitals have started issuing birth certificates online; schools are teaching at a distance and many young people are already registering for the ENEM online, without having to travel to the capital. And surely, in the near future, the residents of Marajó will be able to enjoy these benefits. Not to mention that we will also see an increase in the Human Development Index in the municipalities of Pará,” concluded Lieutenant-Colonel Barretto.

The project is expected to benefit more than 2.5 million inhabitants, bringing internet to 38 schools, five health units, three justice forums, three defense points and two research centers.

PAIS is a federal government program, with the participation of the Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel),

*** Translated by DEFCONPress FYI Team ***

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