Cabling the Indian Ocean
SEACOM,, the international bandwidth cable set to land in South Africa in June this year, is making swift progress and the first portions of deepwater cable are now resting on the seabed of the Indian Ocean and Red Sea. The cable has been laid from the edge of SA’s waters to Mozambique, and cable laying is also proceeding in the Red Sea from Egypt towards the coast of Yemen.
A third ship is currently being loaded with the remainder of Seacom’s deepwater cable, which will be laid from India towards Africa, where the three cable segments will be joined. (See broadband survey, page 47.)
Seacom says that cable laying is taking place in accordance with environmental regulations. In SA it recently transferred protected plant species from its cable station site to the Umlalazi National Park with the help of KwaZuluNatal Wildlife rangers.
Says Seacom president Brian Herlihy: “We’re delighted to have actual cable in the water and the countdown to June has begun. We’ve made tremendous progress since our groundbreaking in Mozambique last November and we can now sense a real level of excitement for Seacom’s arrival.”
From June 2009, southern and eastern Africa will finally become truly connected to international broadband networks via Seacom. The effects are expected to be felt almost immediately in SA, with fresh bandwidth driving down costs.