The long awaited SEACOM cable is officially ready for service after eighteen months of feasibility studies and shareholder agreements, a nine month marine survey and a nineteen month cable construction period.
The $600-million, 17 000 km submarine fibre-optic cable system has a design capacity of 1.28 Tbps and will effectively link Cape Town and Johannesburg with London using Neotel as a partner.
“From today, the 1.28Tbps 15,000km undersea fibre-optic cable system will provide African retail carriers with equal and open access to affordable bandwidth, removing national backhaul and international infrastructure bottlenecks, thereby enhancing the competitiveness of east and southern African economies,” SEACOM said in its official blog.
Commenting on the finalisation of the Project, Brian Herlihy, SEACOM CEO, said: “Today is a historic day for Africa and marks the dawn of a new era for communications between the continent and the rest of the world. Our tireless efforts of the past 24 months have come to fruition, and we are proud to be the first to provide affordable, high quality broadband capacity and experience to east African economies. Turning the switch ‘on’ creates a huge anticipation but ultimately, SEACOM will be judged on the changes that take place on the continent over the coming years.”
In South Africa Neotel is SEACOM’s landing party, and will have a Johannesburg PoP and Cape Town PoP which are connected to the Mtunzini cable station where the SEACOM cable landed in late May.
To celebrate the launch of SEACOM, Neotel and CISCO have invited stakeholders and the media to a live demonstration of the fibre optic cable. Delegates will also be given the opportunity to test drive the SEACOM cable through provided Internet connections.
“SEACOM is turning on the switch for you to enjoy true broadband!” the companies said in a joint statement.
SEACOM switch-on discussion