# Google claims that its new Equiano subsea cable will increase South Africa's internet speed three-fold

#### Vorastra

##### Executive Member
The vast majority of the latency between SA and Europe will be caused by the sheer length of the cable and not by any "packet waiting" or anything like that.
What is the speed of light in a fibre strand and what is the distance of this Equiano cable?

#### eg2505

##### Honorary Master
Not over land with the current cables as far as I can tell. We are limited by the speed of light. With Starlink they are saying there is a chance to reduce latency to anywhere on the planet becasue you dont have to run cables but you still have limitations of speed of light and I doubt we have a lot of demand for low latency to Australia or South America. Nice to have but no huge demand I imagine.
so the limit is what exactly? quality of the Fiber itself, quality of the glass strands?

#### Groggyme

##### Well-Known Member
so the limit is what exactly? quality of the Fiber itself, quality of the glass strands?
The speed of light is exactly 299 792 458 meters per second in a vacuum.

The speed of light in any material including fibre optic cable is based on its RI or Refractive Index. I think for most fibre cables its.... 1.4. This means that speed of light in a fibre optic cable is 299 792 458 / 1.4 which gives us - 214 137 470 meters per second in a fibre cable.

#### Vorastra

##### Executive Member
The speed of light is exactly 299 792 458 meters per second in a vacuum.

The speed of light in any material including fibre optic cable is based on its RI or Refractive Index. I think for most fibre cables its.... 1.4. This means that speed of light in a fibre optic cable is 299,792,458 / 1.4 which gives us - 214 137 470 meters per second in a fibre cable.
Now divide the length of the Equiano cable by this fibre light speed. What is the delay.

#### Drifter

##### Honorary Master
Problem is, this is dark Africa. Everything is slower, even light.

#### _TrXtR_

##### Expert Member
No. The speed of light is a constant.
Speed of light is not been the issue with latency at all.

No it won't

#### Pineapple Smurf

##### Pineapple Beer Connoisseur
Will these cables reduce latency?
If a game server sits in Germany I tell my VPN I am in Munich and then there is almost no latency at all.

#### Groggyme

##### Well-Known Member
Now divide the length of the Equiano cable by this fibre light speed. What is the delay.
No idea what lenght it will be but it wont be shorter than what we already have and they are not selling this cable as having faster speeds or a new technology so we can expect latency of over 100ms to EU.

Interesting to see in 2013 that UK found a way to improve RI in fibre optics. Looks good but have heard nothing about it since.

#### Thor

##### Honorary Master
Whats more interesting is the Plus Codes idea, I do like it at first glance actually.
what3Words is way better, but I get the code part is better especially if it is SMS / Whatsapp driven

#### ToxicBunny

##### Oi! Leave me out of this...
Now divide the length of the Equiano cable by this fibre light speed. What is the delay.

For the round trip, you're looking at minimum 120ms (give or take). So add in all your additional local latency and latency from the international landing point out to your destination, I would say 160ms is probably the lowest we'll ever see latency to a system in Europe, with absolutely ideal conditions and minimal hops between everything.

#### friedpiggy

##### Expert Member
Starlink promised sub 100ms from anywhere in the world I believe.

#### Vorastra

##### Executive Member
For the round trip, you're looking at minimum 120ms (give or take). So add in all your additional local latency and latency from the international landing point out to your destination, I would say 160ms is probably the lowest we'll ever see latency to a system in Europe, with absolutely ideal conditions and minimal hops between everything.
Now if only we could actually get that damn 160. I'm seeing 200 to EU in games...

#### nekokun

##### Member
"increase South Africa's internet speed three-fold"

why does it sound like google drew this statement from the same hat as the stadia "stadia will have negative latency" statement

#### Gordon_R

##### Honorary Master
Now if only we could actually get that damn 160. I'm seeing 200 to EU in games...

CT-Jhb is another 30ms, in addition to the CT-EU latency.

#### Johnatan56

##### Honorary Master
Starlink promised sub 100ms from anywhere in the world I believe.

Which is the other most interesting thing about star link, latency Cape Town to Europe, Australia to US, etc.

If Google used newest tech etc. Max like 3-4ms reduction if that, just from reduction in repeaters, all depends on ISP route.

#### ToxicBunny

##### Oi! Leave me out of this...
Now if only we could actually get that damn 160. I'm seeing 200 to EU in games...

That 160ms is probably only achievable if you plug in to the fibre optic cable at the landing station, and are communicating with a device at the landing station at the other end...

Internal latency in SA would be between 20ms - 40ms depending on routing etc, and the same on the other side. So I would say real world 200ms is actually not bad at all.

#### Moosedrool

##### Executive Member
forgive my ignorance on undersea cables, but dont they have repeaters all over to ensure the light source isnt degraded too much?
I mean were taking thousands of KM, and how can light stay the same "brightness" that long?

Those repeaters are insanely fast.

You can check the length and round trip latency to determine how much is lost to conversion, switching and routing. It's actually pretty impressive how fast everything is and how limited we are on just the speed of light.