New York-São Paulo undersea link goes ahead

The first fiber optic cable connecting the two countries will be ready within two years

The first direct subsea fiber optic cable to link New York with the Brazilian city of São Paulo has successfully been funded and will be ready by the end of 2016.

At a total project cost of $500m, the Seabras-1 link will be developed by Seaborn Networks. According to one of the project's main backers, private investment fund Partners Group, the cable network has already sold "substantial capacity" - including Microsoft and Tata Communications, which contracted with Seaborn as first customers of the Brazil-US network.

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Alcatel-Lucent had started work on the construction of the Seabras-1 cable in September 2014. The firm, which is also responsible for project management, system design, installation and commissioning, will be rolling out an integrated 100G wet plant of cable and high bandwidth repeaters and power feed equipment in addition to a submarine line terminal.

A month after the Seabras-1 cable started being built, Google announced it would be backing another US-Brazil link, which will connect the Brazilian cities of Santos and Fortaleza with Boca Ratón in Florida and will also be ready by next year.

Existing US-Brazil submarine cables already carry about 65 percent of voice and data traffic between Latin America and the rest of the world. Currently there are four other submarine cables linking the two countries.