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Seychelles connected to high-speed broadband

By , Editor, ITWeb Africa
Africa , 08 May 2012

Seychelles connected to high-speed broadband

A submarine cable connecting Seychelles to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania has been unveiled, helping to break the African island’s dependence on satellite internet communications.

The 2000km undersea cable, called the Seychelles East Africa System (SEAS), links to submarine networks such as Eassy.

SEAS has an initial equipped capacity of 20 Gbps and a final design capacity of 320 Gbps, according to the Infrastructure Trust Fund of the European Union.

The cable has been built by Seychelles Cable Systems Limited with the help of funding from the Seychelles government, an organisation called Cable and Wireless, and the mobile phone operator Airtel.

Undersea cables - such as SEACOM and Eassy - have been established to connect Africa to Europe, Asia, the Middle East and even the US.

And experts say that the establishment of these longer cables is set to spark off the development of shorter cables such as SEAS.

“I think that the larger undersea cables are creating demand both for terrestrial fibre development in Africa and for shorter distance undersea cables,” says Steve Song, author of the popular 'African Undersea Cables' map.

“Thanks to the larger undersea cables, fibre optic connectivity is increasingly economically feasible for smaller island states,” Song adds.

Song says these shorter cables can connect smaller island states to broadband, but he further adds that in some cases, such as the Lower Indian Ocean Network 2 (LION2) that connects Kenya to Madagascar, Réunion and Mauritius; can also act as a means to ensure that data traffic on longer cables can be re-routed when they are damaged.

Meanwhile, officials of the East coast African island of Seychelles said the the cable could help to foster further business in the country, while also helping to boost its tourism sector online.

“Both Tanzania and Seychelles are members of the Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern African (Retosa) and are in need of a quick and effective system that will speed up connection among tourists and other travellers between these friendly nations, while attracting more business stakeholders from each country through high-tech communication,” the Seychelles principal secretary for information communication technology (ICT) Benjamin Choppy told The Guardian newspaper.

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