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 Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The opening of a fiber-optic cable providing broadband to millions of people in Southern and Eastern Africa is part of an ambitious plan to expand Internet access and help spur the continent’s economy and its technology industry. The cable, built by Seacom, a consortium 75 percent controlled by African investors, is the first of about 10 new undersea connections expected to serve Africa before the middle of next year. The expansion will cost about $2.4 billion and will help connect Africa with Europe, Asia and parts of the Middle East at higher speeds and at lower cost.

Right now, Africa has only one submarine fiber-optic cable: the less efficient SAT-3 cable in Western Africa, owned primarily by Telkom, the South African telecom company, and last updated in 2002. Those with no access to that cable are forced to use expensive and slow satellite links.

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Source: Kenya London News