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BELLA sees first traffic carried on EllaLink submarine cable

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At this week’s TICAL2021 Conference the BELLA Programme celebrated the first transfer of data between the GÉANT and RedCLARA networks across the 6,000km EllaLink submarine cable that runs between Lisbon, Portugal and Fortaleza, Brazil, bringing to life a 10-year dream held by governments and partner organisations from the research and education networking communities across Europe and Latin America.

(By Paul Maurice, GÉANT) With the EllaLink cable inaugurated earlier this year at the Leading the Digital Decade event in Portugal, TICAL2021 provided the perfect stage to launch the BELLA Programme’s dedicated connectivity for research and education on the world’s first high-capacity submarine cable between Europe and Latin America to the very user communities who will benefit so much from it.

With connectivity now online and providing the high capacity and low latency needed for data-intensive research and education use, this highly celebrated milestone could be considered a final step for the BELLA Programme’s transatlantic activities, but in reality, it marks the beginning of a new era of collaboration between Europe and Latin America in research fields such as Earth observation, radio astronomy, particle physics and medicine.

The first traffic

The graphs below show the moment that GÉANT-RedCLARA traffic was migrated from the previous 10Gbps link via North America, to the new BELLA connection on the direct EllaLink submarine cable system.

- GÉANT-RedCLARA traffic before the migration to BELLA connectivity.

- GÉANT-RedCLARA traffic after the migration to the new BELLA connection on the direct EllaLink submarine cable system.

High capacity and low latency demonstrated at TICAL2021.

To show the benefits that BELLA connectivity will bring the two regions, TICAL2021 presented connectivity testing demonstrations of the new transatlantic BELLA connectivity system for astronomy, high energy physics, and Earth observation with traffic flows reaching close to 100Gbps.

- High capacity and low latency demonstrated at TICAL2021.

TICAL2021, hosted by RedCLARA, is the premier event for the Latin American research and education community attracting speakers from Latin American NRENs, the European Commission, and research projects such as the Human Brain Project and EUMETSAT.

summary of the plenary session at TICAL2021 dedicated to the BELLA connectivity launch can be found here.

What is BELLA?

The BELLA Programme provides for the long-term interconnectivity needs of European and Latin American research and education communities, achieved through two projects: BELLA-S which secures rights to spectrum on the EllaLink submarine cable and ensures future-proof connectivity requirements; and BELLA-T which sees the completion of fibre connectivity for Latin American NRENs – bringing much needed high-speed connectivity and equality of access for research and education communities across the continent.

BELLA receives funding from the European Union through the Horizon 2020 program under grant agreement number 731505 – DG CNECT (BELLA-S1); DG INTPA, under number LA / 2016 / 376-534 (BELLA-T), and DG DEFIS. Complementary funding is provided by the Brazilian government and Latin American research and education networks.

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