The construction of SEACOM's 15,000 km fibre optic undersea cable, linking East Africa to the rest of the world is finally coming to Uganda. A number of major milestones have already been reached including ground breaking at the cable station landing sites in Mozambique and Kenya.
This signals the onset of a new era in the Information and Communications Industry in the East African region. Apparently, over reliance on satellite based data solutions is blamed for the high cost of internet in the region.
The construction of this fibre optic will help develop appropriate infrastructure to oversea the rapidly increasing traffic. Opportunities to be realized will include high quality broadband international connectivity at affordable rates. It will also provide access to untapped emerging markets in voice, mobile and Internet traffic at lower costs.
Payments to foreign telecommunications facility providers will also be reduced since there will be an improved high capacity optic fibre connectivity with in Eastern and Southern Africa to the rest of the world.
SEACOM will be the first cable to provide broadband to countries in East Africa which, at the moment, rely entirely on expensive satellite connections. With this in place, high speed data solutions, especially internet are expected with an increase in bandwidth.
It is a fully funded private sector project with most of the ownership being in the hands of African entrepreneurs. Currently, SEACOM is the most advanced of all the broadband cable projects in the East and Southern Africa regions.
In South Africa, it is anticipated that SEACOM will greatly reduce bandwidth for universities and research institutions especially in international communications.
Telecentres in Eastern and Southern Africa will benefit from the project since ICT costs will be reduced.