Aug 8, 2023 - World

Lula's plan to expand internet access in Amazon region takes shape

Illustration of two Ethernet cables.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Three million Brazilians who live in the Amazon region now have internet access thanks to an underwater fiber optic cable that's part of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's plan to expand connectivity in remote areas.

Details: Lula said on Monday that the fiber optic cables are part of a proposal to "care for the jungle, water and fauna, but also for the people" who call the rainforest home, Marina writes.

  • He said having internet access will help get health clinics online and increase the reach of telehealth to communities otherwise too remote to reach.
  • According to Brazil's Communication Ministry, using the rivers for the optic cables will also avoid having to cut down trees to install wires.

The big picture: The project was unveiled Monday, just before leaders from eight nations that border the Amazon rainforest are scheduled to meet for a summit.

  • The summit will be the first time since 2009 that the leaders of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela meet specifically to talk about Amazon conservation.
  • The leaders are expected to discuss deforestation, illegal mining and threats against Indigenous communities.
  • Lula said he plans to pitch extending the internet cables through the other countries' parts of the rainforest.

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