Downtime on the SEACOM cable system has become commonplace and often the first question that springs to mind, when international connectivity is patchy, is: ‘Is SEACOM down?’.
On many occasions the SEACOM downtime was caused by problems on the SE-ME-WE-4 (SMW4) cable system which the undersea cable company uses for onward connectivity to Europe.
SEACOM’s reliance on SMW4 has cost it dearly in both reliability and reputation. The fact that SEACOM has always planned to connect directly to Europe to remove the reliance on other cable systems only makes the downtime sting more.
SEACOM announced in April that it was on track to finalize its own link through the Red Sea and over Egypt by the end of June 2010.
“With this piece of the mesh finally in place, another critical alternative for traffic routing will become available thereby further reducing the impact of network outages for African users,” said SEACOM.
This however never happened, mainly due to problems related to providing connectivity through Egypt.
SEACOM’s Suveer Ramdhani pointed out that they are ‘making good progress’ and that the full SEACOM construction is complete, but would not comment on the situation in Egypt which is the last remaining hurdle.
Ramdhani merely said that they cannot comment on their progress in Egypt because of the sensitive political nature of situation.
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