New digital data highway linking Europe and Latin America renews transatlantic cooperation

2 June 2021

The EllaLink transatlantic cable connecting the European and South American continents was inaugurated today during the Digital Assembly 2021.
This marks the official closing of the connectivity gap thanks to 6,000 kilometres of submarine cable, reducing the current latency by 50% and bringing it under 60 milliseconds.

What is the EllaLink?

Linking Fortaleza in Brazil with Sines in Portugal, this digital data highway will enable the first direct, high-capacity data connection between the two continents to support research and education data exchange.

Co-funded by the EU through the BELLA Programme, this optical submarine cable goes 4500m under water bringing European and Latin American countries closer together and provide secure and reliable high-capacity connectivity, facilitating digital transformation and inclusion.

This major milestone will help transform European and Latin American research and education collaboration for the next 25 years. BELLA will reach 65 million users across more than 12,000 institutions in Europe and Latin America.

The BELLA Programme

The BELLA Programme brings opportunities for scientific, academic and cultural exchange and facilitates the sharing of high-performance computing and Earth observation data. 

To make the EllaLink cable a reality, a public-private partnership of stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic was established.

The EU is co-funding the BELLA Programme, deploying €26.5 million to date. Co-funding is also provided by Latin American National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) and the Brazilian government.


The idea of a digital data highway was first presented at the 7th EU – Brazil High-Level Summit held in February 2014 and was reiterated at the summit between the EU and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), where heads of state decided to close the gap, giving political support to digitally connect the two regions. 

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