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WACS takes off

By , IT in government editor
Africa , 14 May 2012

WACS takes off

Countries in sub-Saharan Africa can expect an increase in the availability of data, with the launch of the $650 million West African Cable System.

The undersea network connects countries such as Namibia, Togo and South Africa with a capacity of 5.1 Terabits per second.

Arthur Goldstuck, MD at World Wide Worx, said, “The whole of sub-Saharan Africa will see the benefit of this system, because it links more countries on the west coast of Africa.”

“It creates a much more powerful fibre ring around Africa, which means that the entire Africa is now encircled by a high capacity of multiple undersea cables,” said Goldstuck.

Goldstuck says WACS is not essentially about speed as everyone may think, but rather about competition among major telecoms operators in SA.

“More options will be available, which will cause operators to lower their costs of bandwidth,” he said.

WACS is operated by a consortium of 14 companies which include South African internet service provider, Neotel.

And the cable could also act as a means to reroute traffic in case of damage to other networks such as Eassy or SEACOM, say experts.

Angus Hay, head of strategic development, at Neotel said in a statement, “The launch of the new cable system means that customers are unlikely to experience downtime, since we have the flexibility to move traffic from one cable to another in the event of any cable failure.”

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