Amazon fiber optic project seeks funding

The initiative aimed at connecting the rainforest needs $21m to continue in 2017

A project aimed at connecting remote areas in Brazil's Amazon rainforest needs R$70m ($21m) in funding in order to resume work in 2017.

The resources are required for the purchase and roll-out of additional fibre optic infrastructure as well as other equipment needed for the implementation.

Currently, the Amazônia Conectada (Connected Amazon), project led by the Brazilian Army connects some 52 riverside municipalities to the Internet through subfluvial fiber optic cables.

One of the heads at the Army's Integrated Telematics Center, Colonel Eduardo Wolski, told Brazilian portal Convergência Digital that the body is hoping to secure backing from the federal and states governments as well as the private sector - particularly telecom providers interested in expanding their foothold in the North of the country - so that it can carry on.

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"Telecom and Internet service providers are crucial for the sustainability of the network, which is focused on end users," Wolski said.

As well as serving the population based in the rainforest, the Internet fibre link launched in 2014 has been key to improvements in areas such as public security and telemedicine. The network also connects more than 100 public schools and so far approximately R$18m ($5.6m) in funding has gone towards building the link, which is about 250 kilometers long.

There have been other projects aimed at improving connectivity in remote areas of Brazil: back in 2014, Google started trials of its wi-fi balloons in the country's northeast region.

The LTE-equipped equipment was intended to provide an internet signal directly to mobile phones as well as deliver services over longer distances than wi-fi.

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