Less than 5% of the Seacom cable’s maximum bandwidth is being used, according to chief development officer for the undersea cable Suveer Ramdhani.
Speaking to attendees of the MyBroadband Cloud & Hosting Conference on 9 June, Ramdhani explained that the cable is capable of carrying 5 Terabits per second of traffic.
However, the optics currently deployed on the cable support a maximum capacity of 300 Gigabits per second.
Of this, only 240Gbps is currently lit up.
Ramdhani said this doesn’t mean the cable is empty or in dire straits, but indicates that the available bandwidth is not making it to end users.
This hindrance is caused by issues in four areas, he said:
- Last mile. High-speed fibre and LTE networks are connecting homes and businesses, but fibre links remain costly and the widespread roll-out of LTE is hindered by a lack of access to spectrum.
- Metro fibre. While there are many metropolitan fibre networks in South Africa’s big cities, these are expensive compared to other African countries. Municipalities are not helping the situation by rolling out their own networks, as they see them as revenue generating opportunities rather than facilitating the industry.
- Long haul. National backhaul prices have come down, but affordable border connectivity is still required.
- Local peering. Major South African content sits behind Internet service providers with a selective peering policy.