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European Commission backs new Europe-Latin America subsea cable


The European Commission is supporting construction of a new submarine fibre-optic cable between Europe and Latin America, linking Lisbon in Portugal with Fortaleza in Brazil. Today Latin America relies on


undersea cables going to the US to carry nearly 90 per cent of its communications traffic to Europe. The one existing cable that directly connects Latin America and Europe is outdated and only used for voice transmission. That situation is set to change when the EULALINK project is complete. The new subsea cable will enable Brazil and other Latin American countries to have direct access to the largest Internet exchange points in the world, located in the cities of Frankfurt, Amsterdam, London and Paris. The cable will be built by a


private consortium, led by Brazilian telecom provider Telebras and Spanish cable operator Islalink. On 30 June, they signed a shareholder agreement to create the joint venture that will


be dedicated to launch and operate the submarine cable linking the South American and European continents. The Latin American and


European research and education networks, RedCLARA in cooperation with DANTE, have put forward a project proposal, called BELLA: Building Europe Link to Latin America, to take advantage of the new cable. The European Commission intends to make a financial contribution of around €26 million via this project. The group has two objectives: to provide cable capacity at installation cost to support public policies, and to extend the cable’s high capacity to other countries in Latin America. The new subsea cable will


make it easier for researchers in Latin America to access the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, and for researchers in Europe to access the Astronomical and Cosmic Ray Observatories in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile.


KKR buys majority stake in Deutsche Glasfaser


Global investment firm KKR has bought a majority stake in German fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) provider Deutsche Glasfaser, which is currently fully owned by Reggeborgh. Together the partners plan to invest €450 million in the further roll-out of fibre infrastructure rural and suburban parts of Germany over the next few years. Founded in 2012, privately owned


Deutsche Glasfaser plans, constructs, and operates FTTH networks in Germany and has connected more than 80,000 households to date. KKR, on the other hand, has a strong track record of investing in technology, having helped to build up operator Versatel, which owns the second largest fibre infrastructure in Germany after Deutsche Telekom. Broadband penetration in


Germany is still significantly below the European average. With its planned


investments, Deutsche Glasfaser will help to connect more people with its high-speed fibre-optic network and thereby also support the German government in its ambition to achieve 100 per cent broadband coverage with at least 50Mb/s by 2018. Jesús Olmos, member and head of


European Infrastructure at KKR, said: ‘Deutsche Glasfaser is a blueprint for the type of investments our infrastructure fund is targeting in Europe: building a partnership with a best-in-class company, and investing significant amounts of capital to grow a business with strong infrastructure characteristics. We are very excited about this new addition to our European portfolio as it opens up opportunities in a new and promising sector – telecom infrastructure – alongside our existing investments in renewables, water, district heating, parking and rolling stock.’


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