satelite, optical fiber or radio network? Seminar debate solutions to digital connectivity in the Amazon

12 June 2019 - Challenges and solutions to bring quality internet riverside populations and remote communities in Amazonas State were shared and presented during a seminar

Digital connectivity in the Amazon | Photo: Bruno Kelly

satelite, fiber optic cable or radio network? The most effective and smart alternative to bring digital connectivity to remote areas and riverside populations in the Amazon would be the set of all these technologies. So they say experts who participated in this Wednesday (12) the "I Seminar on digital connectivity in remote areas of the Amazon", performed by the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), the body seat, together with the World Bank, to Secretary of State of Planning, Development, Science, Tecnologia e Inovação (Seplancti) and Data Processing company Amazon S.A (sell).

Public Power, companies and universities discussed challenges and solutions to internet inside the Amazon and shared initiatives that have worked. Preliminary results from a study of technical feasibility, financial, social and cultural to bring internet connection located riverside communities in protected areas (UC) Amazon were presented by the consultant, engineer and professor at the Federal University of Amazonas (I trust) Ademir Lourenço. "The solution, the short and medium term, through the use of satellites and, communities, the use of radio systems. The satellite together with a radio network would be the immediate solution ", said.

"The deficit (digital connectivity in the Amazon) It is almost complete. It is a different from the rest of Brazil, the difficulties are immense. In the study we pointed out the technologies based in nine protected areas where FAS works and establish parameters of what exists today and what can be done. Basically it points out that in a short and a medium term solution to these areas is satellite use in conjunction with radio networks. Satellite internet comes and radio network distributes the internet providing digital connectivity for communities ", said Ademir Lourenço.

The technology fiber optic cables already in place in parts of the state by Connected Amazon Project, the federal and state governments, It is also an alternative, Lawrence second Rogan, long term. "It's a solution that takes time. The best of all worlds would be yes fiber optics. The (project) Connected Amazon is a solution that is already well advanced, but we have problems. If fiber breaks, which the maintenance time that? Does the riverside, community staff, You can wait six months to fix a fiber? Is very difficult".

connected cities

The Amazon Connected project, since 2014 install fiber optic cables to bring connectivity to Amazon inner cities, It should be taken by the new Government of the State, according to the director of Prodam, John William of Moares. "The government understood that any expenditure on information and communication technology is not spending, but an investment. We are committed to implement this project (Connected Amazon), lack only define who will command the army's actions and then reactivate the negotiations ", said. "We have the Coari-Manaus pipeline, the Linhão Tucuruí, optical fiber Hi, the optical fiber Embratel, all within the center of Prodam date. The idea is to set up the state telecommunications network linking all these networks into a single objective of developing the state ".

In the region through which the Coari-Manaus gas pipeline, Connected the Amazon project installed fiber optic cables and connectivity led to the cities of Manaus, Iranduba, Manacapuru, Caroline has piranga, Anori, Codajás and Coari. "Only Anamã could not be installed due to overflowing rivers. It is a city that is all under water during the flood. The fiber gets there, just do not put the equipment still ", said Guilherme de Moraes, to Sell. "We need to connect the other 53 municipalities lacking. We need the strong arm of the Army to, together implantarmos, Amazon Connected program, to Sell. It would cost less than the construction of the Arena Amazônia and unless the construction of the bridge Rio Negro ", said.

geographical challenges

Geographic challenges are also obstacles to achieve lead digital connectivity to the most remote regions of the Amazon, said second commander of the 4th Center for Telematics Area of ​​the Brazilian Army, Colonel Julio Cesar Brazil, speaker at the seminar. For ele, it is necessary to invest in infrastructure and human resources. "The Amazon is challenging for her own geography. It is an area which requires a number of factors, mas, in compensation motivates us because we have nowhere in the world a place like here. The telecommunications infrastructure still need a greater input of funds, is material is human, and what we, Army, we can do to add. It is our mission ".

The infrastructure in the region was also highlighted by the Universal manager and Expansion of the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel), Eduardo Jacomassi, participation during the event. "Many municipalities where the fiber has not yet come to suffer ensure a quality Internet, Mobile service has very low coverage and, sometimes, the population understands how a quality failure, but sometimes it is because of the amount of towers in the infrastructure is going down ", said.

New 4G technology infrastructure must be installed, over the coming years, in more remote areas of the Amazon outside the urban area of ​​the interior municipalities, Edward as reported Jacomassi, Anatel. "They are smaller locations that need more. We have the resources Universalization Fund of Telecommunication Services, o Fust, which has been raised, but it is not being used. We need to release the funds and make necessary investment in infrastructure, expanding the fiber optic cable interconnecting the cities and also extend 3G and 4G mobile coverage to, from basic, which is infrastructure, people can develop business, improve education and health. Without infrastructure you can not get anything. And this is in medium to long term ".

Next Steps

With operations located in riverside communities within protected areas (UC) do Amazonas, in strategic cooperation with the Secretary of State for the Environment (Sema), FAS intends to use the study results of technical feasibility digital connectivity to support action strategies to improve the internet in these regions. This is confirmed by the general superintendent of the agency, Virgilio Viana. "We have a huge challenge to make the 581 communities where FAS acts people can have access to the internet, much to invest in community-based tourism and for a health emergency, improve education, etc.. The goal is that we can identify the most attractive options in different circumstances and apply different solutions for each ", said.

The Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS) é uma organização brasileira não governamental, nonprofit, promoting sustainable development, environmental conservation and improving the quality of life of people living in protected areas (UC) in Amazonas, in strategic cooperation with the Secretary of State for the Environment (Sema).