South African cable switch to Europe

8 May 2008

The South African government has revised its plans for an undersea cable from Cape Town to South America and will now run the cable to Europe instead. The project costing ZAR5 billion (USD665 million) will run cable from Melkbosstrand near Cape Town to London with links to at least ten African countries along the way. Government spokeswoman Lulu Bam said, ‘Our main focus right now is Europe. South America is not a priority right now, but it is not completely off the table’.

Bam said the project hopes to cut service costs by 65% initially, and up to 90% over five years. The current price for a Vodacom broadband service is ZAR554 per month for up to 3GB of data, while Neotel offers a 10GB package for ZAR600, but only in limited areas. The government says costs could fall to less than ZAR100 a month for up to 5GB of high speed downloads.

The government has promised to complete the network by 2010 in time to bring improved access for the World Cup.

South Africa