Amazon rain forest connection project resumes

By Jonathan Hassell

Unconnected places on Earth — areas with no possible permanent connection to the global internet — are dwindling quickly. Central parts of the Amazon rain forest are about to come off that list.

ZDNet has reported that Brazilian officials have given the green light to a plan to finish connecting 52 populated areas in the middle of the rain forest to larger cities in Brazil, namely Manaus (capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas) and the villages of Corai and Novo Airão, 363 kilometers and 193 kilometers from Manaus, respectively.

The Amazônia Conectada (Connected Amazon) project will resume by the end of April, just months after running into roadblocks to obtaining the required funding to complete the work. By the end of the Corai and Novo Airão installations, more than 8,000 kilometers of fiber-optic cable will have been laid deep in the Amazon River, and more than 600 kilometers of fiber-optic cables will have been installed in the remote region itself.

Why connect the middle of the Amazon rain forest to the internet? Apart from providing the typical access services to the residents of the area, the link, which began in 2014, has enhanced the area’s public education and general security and provided a way for doctors to see, evaluate and treat patients through telemedicine practices.

After the April portion of the rollout is complete, further installation of fiber-optic cable to even more remote areas is expected, with tentative plans to lay an additional 1,000 kilometers of cable to these areas.

The Brazilian army is responsible for the overall project. Project coordinator Maj. Luciano Sales said the army had been working with $9.5 million to $12 million out of the total $22 million needed to complete the final leg of the project. That final leg will reach Barcelos, 400 kilometers away from Manaus.

Written By

Jonathan Hassell

President, 82 Ventures

Jonathan Hassell runs 82 Ventures, a technical writing and consulting firm based in Charlotte, NC. He centers his focus around network administrator, security, the cloud, and mobile technologies.

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