By Interoute Press Release

SEACOM's sub-sea cable has launched today, providing southern and eastern Africa with high capacity connectivity at much lower rates than traditional satellite networks. The 17,000 kilometre intercontinental fibre optic network will also connect to Interoute's pan-European fibre optic network from its landing point in Marseille, providing access to major business centres in Europe and throughout the rest of the world.

The agreement will allow Interoute and SEACOM to open up new opportunities for telecommunications companies and enterprises in the region, as well as supporting the growing demand for broadband.  The region has seen a phenomenal increase in demand for Internet connectivity, with users rising by 1,062% from 2000 to 2008*.

Gareth Williams, Interoute CEO commented “The launch of SEACOM is an important milestone for African Telecoms and we are delighted to be a part of it; providing the European connectivity from the cable's landing point in Marseille. Demand for bandwidth across Africa has been outstripping supply for some time so the new cable is crucial for the growth of business on the continent.”

The SEACOM fibre optic cable runs along the east coast of Africa, creating a digital super highway that links South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya with Europe and South Asia.  The cable extends to Marseilles, where it connects to Interoute's network providing a speed of light route to Europe, North America and the Middle East, as well as access to Interoute's range of wholesale and enterprise services.  The new sub-sea cable will offer 1.28TB/s of capacity, enabling high definition TV, peer to peer networks, and IPTV, as well as support surging Internet demand.

“Today is a historic occasion for Africa and marks the dawn of a new era for communications between the continent and the rest of the world. The tireless efforts of the past 24 months have come to fruition and we are proud to be part of building the foundations of Africa's future infrastructure through the provision of unprecedented and affordable high capacity and connectivity in southern and eastern Africa,” said Brian Herlihy, SEACOM CEO. “In addition, linking our system to the Interoute network provides vital access to Europe and the rest of the world, opening up the region to important business hubs across the globe.”

“From a business point of view this connection is a vital step forward for countries that have, up until now, had to rely on expensive satellite connections for communications. It will give access to information from global sources and enable businesses to work effectively with organisations across the globe using this high capacity connection,” saidGareth Williams.