Brazil: Caribbean Gets First Academic Network in 2012

| December 16, 2011

Staff writer Denise Mota

Brazilian National Education and Research Network (RNP), known in Latin America for having built the advanced network RedCLARA, will take this experience to Caribbean territories. It will implement a similar system, dedicated to information exchange among researchers in the region. Also hospitals, libraries, museums are immediate potential users of this structure.

The broadband fiber optic network is named C@ribNET and its principal aim, to be achieved in several phases, is to connect education institutions and research centers in Caribbean. The first step will be to link, at a 155 Mbps speed, 31 communities from 13 countries in the zone, plus Dominican Republic. In Latin America, RedCLARA (which stands for Latin American Cooperation of Advanced Networks) connects 15 national networks (from Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico and Venezuela, among others) specially committed to education and research projects (check out the geography of RedCLARA in the map in this page).

The estimated cost of the initiative is 10 million euros and it is designed to make it possible for Caribbean researchers to start working in collaborative research projects around the world. Financial resources are being provided by European Union, under World Bank management. RNP was selected through a licitation process from Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network (CKLN).

“Differently from the Latin net, working in Caribbean is more complex”, says Eriko Porto, nets coordinator at RNP and in charge of this project. The reason for it is that Caribbean doesn´t have national research and education networks, he explains. So, beyond the task of implementing an infrastructure to connect the countries, it will be also necessary to link communities themselves, what will cost C@ribNET 6.5 million dollars, to establish a circuit inside nations and among them, to universities and research centers.

At the second phase of the project, institutions from other countries in the region will get connected to the net.

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