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Lisbon ,  July 03, 2019

Working Group for replacement of underwater cables to deliver results by the end of the year, says Ana Cunha

The Regional Secretary for Transport and Public Works announced that the Working Group set up to study and choose the best solution for the replacement of submarine communication cables between Mainland Portugal, the Azores and Madeira is expected to deliver results by the end of the year.
Ana Cunha spoke Tuesday in Lisbon at the end of the first meeting of this working group, which includes representatives of the national government, regional governments of the Azores and Madeira, and of ANACOM.
The Regional Secretary stated that ANACOM presented "a provisional work schedule for this intervention" and, according to it, the technical solution "will have to be presented and approved by December."
"Considering this timeframe for the decision-making process, ANACOM has already stipulated a schedule for the intervention. It includes the tender phase and intervention procedures," namely the selection of the contractor, which will be required to manufacture cables and to check the seafloor and the location of cables, among other things."
For the government official, "there is already a stipulated schedule for the intervention that defines, albeit somewhat optimistic, its completion by 2023. This is quite reassuring should there be any constraint arising in the course of this intervention.
Ana Cunha recalled that the study was promoted by the Regional Government and presented to the Secretary of State for Infrastructures in February. It continues to serve as a basis to "support the position taken by the Regional Government towards the defence of this investment."
"It is intended to be a neutral structure, a long-standing structure that is expected to last, at least, the same as the existing one. It is intended to secure redundancy in the operation of this infrastructure, so as to ensure efficient communications," stated the government official.
According to the Regional Secretary, this investment is also expected "to be optimised in other areas, such as those already pointed out by the ANACOM chairman and by our study: climate change predictions and monitoring, temperature changes, earthquakes and other natural events. These fibre optic cables have the capability of developing these areas, through the installation of other systems.
For Ana Cunha, it will also be possible to "further enhance the scientific component" as a "leverage for the development of scientific projects."
The use of theses cables could also be optimised with the "creation of a sort of a hub in the middle of the Atlantic for transatlantic cables crossing the ocean between North America, South America and Europe and even reaching Africa," said the Regional Secretary. In this regard, she added that the Regional Government has defended this idea and it was equally welcomed by all members of the Working Group."
Nevertheless, "this investment should be carried out by the National Government, seeing that fibre optic cables are a structuring investment and a means of securing territorial cohesion throughout the country."
According to Ana Cunha, the first meeting of the Working Group was an important step and a second meeting has already been scheduled "for the first half of July," which demonstrates the intention to speed this process.
The Regional Secretary also highlighted that the ANACOM chairman has led the group efficiently, considering that "the good pace of works will lead to the completion of the study by December, as proposed the Secretary of State Assistant and of Communications.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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