There has been interesting news lately on two fronts from the undersea routes between North and South America.
GlobeNet, the international arm of Brazil's Oi, is planning its third substantial upgrade to its network capacity in the past three years and testing the next phase as well. First, they are more than doubling their current lit capacity by moving to 40Gbps waves. That will give them 1.2Tbps in all, with the work to be completed in Q4. Meanwhile, they have been testing 100G gear from multiple vendors, demonstrating an eventual upgraded capacity of more than 12Tbps over its four fiber pairs.
Meanwhile, Seaborn Networks has signed a turnkey contract with Alcatel-Lucent to build its new cable system. Seabras-1 will hook up New york and Sao Paolo directly, with the obligatory branch at Fortaleza. Timing was not mentioned, but Seaborn and Alcatel-Lucent have already begun the permit acquisition and marine survey work and Seaborn has previously targeted 2014 for activation. The NYC to Sao Paolo link would be the longest 100G transoceanic link to date, although a lot can happen between now and 2014.
Other projects bringing big bandwidth to Brazil are still in the works, of course, e.g. Telebras, WASACE, South Atlantic Express to name a few. It's fairly certain that not all will come to fruition. Existing operators like GlobeNet argue that we're a long, long way from actually demand levels that would justify much of this new construction given advances in technology. But there does seem to be enough momentum for now coming from perceived demand to come from the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.