Azores government says mooring undersea cables to two islands “increases resilience

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The Azorean Government believes that having two islands tied to a “unique and new” underwater cable structure “increases the resilience and redundancy of the connection” of the region “to the rest of the world,” it said today in response to a request.

“Decentralization in communications is a best practice. Having two islands in the Azores “tied” to a single new ring structure increases the resilience and redundancy of the Azores’ connection to the rest of the world. Since this is a single infrastructure of new fiber optic submarine cables, in a redundant ring topology, the Azores do not lose their direct connection to Lisbon, on the contrary, they strengthen it,” writes the PSD/CDS-PP/PPM coalition executive.

The response to a request by Chega/Açores, consulted by Lusa, is the subject of a statement by that party, in which regional deputy José Pacheco says he hopes “that the mooring on two islands will effectively strengthen the connection of the Azores with the mainland and Madeira and not harm the competitiveness of São Miguel, which is the island that contributes most to the regional GDP and where more than half the population of the Azores is concentrated.

“Decentralizing the mooring of the submarine cables that connect the Azores to the mainland and Madeira was one of the recommendations of the working group set up to advise the Government of the Republic on the best option for replacing the CAM Ring (Mainland — Azores — Madeira),” notes the parliamentarian, based on the response presented today by the executive.

José Pacheco adds that the Regional Government “does not yet know the full technical details of the solution” that will replace the current CAM Ring – for which the Portuguese State is responsible – but guarantees that “having two islands tied to a single, new ring structure increases the resilience and redundancy of the connection of the Azores to the rest of the world.

“Faced with the recent announcement by the executive that the new CAM Ring should tie up two islands — São Miguel and Terceira — instead of being concentrated, as until now, only in São Miguel, Chega wanted to know what the executive’s justification was for such a measure,” recalls the deputy.

In the answer, the Government explains that one of the recommendations of “dozens of specialists and experts” was that the new CAM Ring should include mooring on two separate islands of the archipelago, describes the deputy.

The Regional Government reinforces that it does not know in detail the proposed technical solution, clarifying “that São Miguel will not be harmed by this decision,” indicates Chega.

“The impacts of the new infrastructure, its benefits and the increased capacity and redundancy will be very relevant for all the islands in our region, without any negative effects in economic terms and competitiveness that may arise for the island of São Miguel,” says the executive in response to the request.

About the system’s operability as of 2024, “the end of the current ring’s life”, the Regional Government says that the information it has “is the one transmitted by the president of the National Communications Authority (ANACOM)”, on January 23rd, in the Parliamentary Commission of Economy, Public Works, Planning and Housing, in the Portuguese Parliament.

“That is, that Altice Portugal will have confirmed it is in a position to maintain current submarine cable operations until 2028, with the company guaranteeing the cable connections until the new ones are completed,” the executive said.

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