Undersea broadband cable to link Africa, India, Europe

Undersea broadband cable to link Africa, India, Europe

Durban: South Africa has given the go-ahead for the construction of an undersea broadband cable linking South Africa, east African countries and India, as well as Europe.

A spokesperson for the Seacom project, Stephen Laufer, said Wednesday that the link would run from Mtunzini on the KwaZulu-Natal province’s far north coast to Mumbai in India, via Mozambique, Madagascar, Kenya, and Tanzania.

He said it would also branch off via the Red and Mediterranean Seas to Marseilles in France.

“Actual production of Seacom’s high-tech cable and undersea repeaters starts next week. The link will provide an enormous one-point-two-eight Terrabytes per second of broadband capacity," said Laufer.

Laufer said all the countries involved would have a share in the project.

The project was clouded in uncertainty early in November after the South African government reportedly insisted that the country should hold 50% of the shares.

South Africa’s Minister of Communications, Ivy Matsepe Casaburri, had been reported as saying that she had mandated the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa to ensure there was no unfair competition relating to the use of undersea cables. She had also made it clear that any undersea cable landing in South Africa must be majority South African-owned.

Laufer said they hoped to get the project underway and working by 2009.