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East Africa To Get Cheap, High Speed Connectivity With Seacom and EASSy

Africa is on track to join the rest of the world in the realms of high speed connectivity as the last strands of a 15,000km cable are being laid between Asia and Europe via East Africa at a cost of USD 650 million.

The Seacom project, bankrolled mainly by African investors, is expected to go live in June 2009 and will provide its hundreds of millions of potential customers with up to 160GBps worth of bandwidth.

Africa has long been left behind in the race for quicker broadband partly due to economic factors and also because of the reticence of investors to plough in tens of millions of dollars without any forecasted return on investment.

Another grand project for an undersea link called EASSy well underway and expected to be delivered by 2010 at a cost of £170 million which will see 21 other African countries linked to the global internet mesh.

And there's also the older SAFE cable which is due for an upgrade sooner rather than sooner to boost up its bandwidth capacity.

This and other cables being build should bring the Continent's theoretical capacity to more than 1.5TBps at a cost of more than GBP 1.5 billion and will certainly help to kickstart a more robust and efficient African tech industry.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.