“International connectivity is essential to ensure the efficient functioning of the entire Internet ecosystem. It is a fundamental ingredient for both socioeconomic development and those domestic and international projects focusing on innovation and scientific research. These two applications fully justify the establishment of new international underwater routes for greater connectivity” – João Cadete Matos, Chairman of ANACOM, Portugal’s regulatory body.

Speaking at the Conference on International Connectivity and the EU-Atlantic Data Gateway Platform, held in Sines, Portugal on the 27th and 28th of May 2021, the chair of Portugal’s regulatory body gave a an informative presentation on the importance of international submarine cable connectivity and ANACOM’s advanced views on . 

“As always, our intention is to defend the interests of Portugal and in particular to achieve social and economic cohesion across all the Portuguese territory,” he continued. “We are sure, that by doing so, we are also defending the interests of the European Union. We also believe that neither the European Union, neither Portugal should be dependent on third countries or regions for its connectivity, interconnection and data storage.”

The chairman also highlighted the development of a new CAM Ring to replace an existing ring that connects mainland Portugal with the Azores and Madeira Island (CAM = Continent-Azores-Madeira). This included ANACOM challenging the sector to include seismic detection in the new CAM Ring.

ANACOM has taken a leading role in advocating for regulatory clarity, cable protection and scientific usage of submarine fiber optic cables, including:

  • Seismic and environmental detection
  • Easy and transparent licensing process for submarine cables crossing its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) by introducing a one stop shop Portal through which the industry and public entities can easily interact
  • The Introduction of surveillance and protection services of submarine cables in the Portuguese EEZ;
  • The creation of an R&D cluster for the utilization of telecom and energy submarine cables for environmental and seismic detection in Portugal
  • Periodic restoration trial exercise for submarine cables landing in Portugal
  • Particular attention to cable ships in order to facilitate their activity (installation and repair of submarine cables) in Portuguese EEZ
  • The use of green energy to feed submarine cables, interconnection hubs and data centers.