Specific objective 4: To ensure the sustainability of the optical infrastructure by creating a new financial model for RedCLARA that takes into consideration new regional possibilities and the lower costs offered by direct transatlantic access to research and education networks around the world, as well as to the commodity Internet.

Work Package: 4. Sustainability

Output: A new funding model for RedCLARA enabling long-term sustainability of the LA network

Output description:

The RedCLARA Funding Model was created using as a basis the GÉANT cost-sharing model at that time. The RedCLARA mechanism takes into account:
a)Commonly based activities, such as Management, Project promotion and dissemination;
b)Backbone and intercontinental costs; and
c)Access costs.

While a) is equally shared among partners, the other 2 have in common the basic assumption that bandwidth is scarce and hence the cost sharing algorithm is based on assigning costs to the scarce resources, plus a “solidarity” redistribution factor making it possible to subsidise access for less favoured countries.

When the new backbone comes into place and the capacity on a direct submarine cable to Europe is implemented, the assumptions of this model will be completely changed: the amount of available bandwidth will be potentially as large as needed (and its upgrade costs will be relatively marginal), while access costs will be hard to measure because the backbone will actually cross most countries. The exceptions of Uruguay and Venezuela will be overcome in the near future as they will develop their internal networks and will connect to the border access points that BELLA-T will leave ready for them: Cucuta for Venezuela and Santana do Livramento for Uruguay.

This new reality will call for the adoption of a new RedCLARA Funding Model to cover the Management, Operations and Upgrading of the network as well as the addition of new capacity on the submarine part and other costs. This new model will be developed jointly with all RedCLARA Partner NRENs and will seek to incentivise the use of the network and ensure that countries experiencing economical restrictions for their NREN be anyway able to afford first-class connectivity.

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