Specific objective 1: To create an optical backbone network in South America, connecting the cities of Fortaleza, Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre (Brazil), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Guayaquil (Ecuador), Bogotá (Colombia), Cucuta (Colombian border with Venezuela) and Cartagena (Colombia).

Work Package: 1. South American Backbone

Output: A secure resilient optical backbone ready to support 100 Gbps wavelengths in South America which will become RedCLARA’s main regional infrastructure for research, education, innovation and public service in Latin America.

Output description:
The resulting backbone will connect the cities of Fortaleza (Brazil), where the landing point of the intercontinental cable will be located, to Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre (Brazil), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Arica (Chile), Guayaquil (Ecuador), Bogota (Colombia), Cucuta (Colombian border with Venezuela) and Cartagena (Colombia) as it shows the following map.

bellat prop topol

The path linking Arica (Chile) to Guayaquil (Ecuador) could alternatively be replaced by a submarine cable path linking Cartagena (Colombia) to Fortaleza (Brazil).

The network will be composed of redundant paths of mostly terrestrial optical fibre on top of which DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing, the technology allowing to transmit multiple optical channels over a single optical fibre pair) equipment with 100Gbps wavelength capability will be installed. In each country the network will provide initially one wavelength of 100Gbps for the use of the Backbone and a backup path shared with the National NREN of the country. This backup path could be at a lower speed (e.g. a multiple of 10Gbps wavelengths).

A key element of the strategy to build the backbone is the “patchwork strategy” which means that the RedCLARA backbone will be built by patching together the terrestrial backbones either built in each country jointly with the NREN, or using the already existing NREN backbone. No separate infrastructures will be built, this will save costs not only in fibre but also in maintenance and operations, which is a key element in RedCLARA’s and the NRENs’ sustainability strategies. The only exception could be the alternative submarine path between Cartagena (Colombia) and Fortaleza (Brazil). The choice between the terrestrial path crossing Peru or the submarine path linking Colombia and Brazil will be done on the basis of cost. If at all possible, both paths should be installed.

2routes bellatThe points of connection between two countries, when unique, will be reachable through at least 2 different routes to ensure resilience of the network.

The number of optical nodes inside a country will depend on the country itself and the backup path may be an internal one or an international, as in the case of Chile, where a backup path will be built using an interconnection between Argentina and Chile with at least 3 points. This is the only exception as it is made possible by the geography of both countries and the very long shared border.

The optical backbone will connect in Fortaleza with the submarine cable system (access to a direct Europe-Latin America submarine cable is the main objective of the complementary BELLA-S initiative). The connectivity will be assured inside the common RNP-RedCLARA PoP (Point of Presence) in Fortaleza and will be directly connected to the Submarine Cable Landing Station in the same city through a redundant path to ensure resilience up to the transatlantic connection to Europe.

On top of this optical infrastructure, RedCLARA will deploy its Layer 2 and Layer 3 Backbone capable of delivering IP services as well as VLANs (Virtual Local Area Network) for special projects. This backbone will interconnect with the GÉANT backbone using 100Gbps wavelengths at Layers 2 and 3.

This South American backbone will connect to the Mesoamerican part of the RedCLARA backbone through leased circuits of 10Gbps or more as seen in the following figure, where the (existing) Mesoamerican Optical Network and the leased lines to be maintained are also shown. In the case of Venezuela, the optical backbone will be ready for the Venezuelan NREN to connect to in Cucuta.

mapa bellat prop topol todoredclara

On successful completion of the complementary action to obtain capacity on a direct submarine cable to Europe, the RedCLARA NREN partners connected to this backbone (either directly or through existing or leased lines) will be able to access Layer 3 VLAN services to connect to NRENs in Europe through GÉANT and also to access Internet Service Providers in Lisbon or through the GÉANT World Service.

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