On Friday the South African telecommunications industry celebrated the start of the final construction phase of the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy), with a visit to supplier Alcatel-Lucentâ€™s fully-laden cable-laying ship docked in Durban harbour.
This weekend, the cable ship will commence laying the southern portion of the EASSy cable up the coastline from Mtunzini, where Neotel is already connected to the SAFE cable, and has its SEACOM landing station. The addition of EASSy will significantly boost international bandwidth capacity and redundancy and increase Internet connectivity competition in South Africa.
According to Dr Angus Hay, executive head of technology at Neotel, â€œThe EASSy cable is now in its final rollout phase and will soon increase competition in the local market, and hopefully also accelerate ongoing price reduction for connectivity.â€
â€œNeotel will now have connections to four cables, meaning that consumers are highly unlikely to experience downtime, after the EASSy cable goes live around August this year. As a member of the EASSy consortium, we are investing around 80 million Rand into this project so as to provide a wider range of connectivity options to our customers.â€
Hay says the company is committed to continuing to increase reliability and security in the wake of the recent problems on SAT-3, when Neotelâ€™s SEACOM cable connectivity proved a clear advantage over competitors. The addition of the EASSY cable in August means that Neotel will lead the pack in reliability and connectivity through four cables, and with access to Tata Communicationsâ€™ hundreds of thousands of kilometres of submarine cable routes spanning the globe.