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New SEACOM platform enables faster web access

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 18 – Pan-African ICT enabler SEACOM, has launched an Internet Protocol platform that will allow direct routing of data traffic between African countries through a single seamless network.

The project involves the design, deployment and operation of nine land-based Internet access points that will store popular web content closer to where the Internet is accessed.

SEACOM Head of East and North Africa region, Julius Opio said through the platform, they will be able tap into their international core network which will enable a faster Internet browsing experience for end users.

SEACOM completed the laying of the undersea portion of the first fibre cable to connect southern and eastern Africa to the world in 2009, a move that Mr Opio said has contributed to bringing down connectivity costs.

"Two years ago, before SEACOM came into Kenya, all the connectivity was via satellite. So we brought in the marine cable, provided bulk hold and lasting connectivity via fibre using our partners and as a result, we have seen a dramatic uptake in internet usage, and also because of that, prices have reduced," he said.

However, he says that vandalism and interconnectivity with rural areas are some of the challenges

"Lasting connectivity is a major challenge we are facing. Eighty percent of our population is rural based, while 20 percent is urban based. However we also want to provide connectivity into the rural areas using our partners. They provide wireless connectivity. With wireless connectivity, there are some limitations, in regards to how much capacity or how much bandwidth you can use and that brings down the user experience," he said.

CISCO, Dimension Data and Inter Route were closely involved in the design, procurement and deployment of the SEACOM IP network. This approach of partnering with established players to provide broadband services based on resiliency, service quality and flexibility in line with customers\’ evolving needs.

Today, over a dozen countries across the African continent have access to SEACOM\’s low cost products and services via its extended network.

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SEACOM is a privately financed and owned submarine fibre optic cable network. The company has already connected South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Djibouti and Ethiopia.

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