, MOMBASA, Kenya, Jul 23 – The Private Sector backed SEACOM fibre optic cable went ‘live’ on Thursday in five of the 11 countries that it is to connect to.
The 17000km cable linking South and East Africa to global networks through India and Europe was commissioned in Kenya, South Africa, India, Tanzania and Mozambique simultaneously.
Senior Vice President Jean Pierre de Leu said the backhauls linking Johannesburg, Nairobi and Kampala with the coastal landing stations have been established while SEACOM is working with the national partners to commission the final links to Kigali and Addis Ababa.
“I am glad that despite the one-month delay the landing of this cable will provide unprecedented opportunities at a fraction of the current cost,” Mr de Leu said.
He said SEACOM was going to provide bandwidth at the capacity of 600 Mega bytes per second.
“Our efforts for the last 24 months have come to fruition and we are proud to be the first cable to be landing and ready to provide affordable quality broadband capacity and experience to the East African economies,” he noted.
Seacom Chairman Nizar Juma noted that while the event marked a milestone it was a clear demonstration of what the private sector can do when provided with an enabling environment.
“The SEACOM cable will change the lives of every man, woman and child in the countries connected by making previously unavailable technology accessible to everyone,” said Mr Juma.
“We truly look forward to the positive utilisation of the cable and the realisation of the social and economic possibilities to be realised through this cable.”
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete was expected to make a live address on the launch through a live transmission via fibre.