Construction of the East Africa Submarine System (EASSy) international fibre-optic cable was completed ahead of schedule on Monday night, reports South African website Techcentral, quoting EASSy’s largest shareholder West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC). WIOCC stated: ‘The installation phase of the project, which started in Maputo, Mozambique in December 2009, was completed on board the cable-laying vessel Ile de Batz in the Indian Ocean, just off the east African coast … Now that this critical stage of the project has been completed successfully and ahead of time, we will start system testing almost immediately … Once this is finalised, we are looking forward to connecting our first customers to the network from July 2010. EASSy is the second high-capacity undersea system to connect the east African region, following the deployment in 2009 of the Seacom cable. WIOCC chief technology officer Ryan Sher set out how the new cable aimed to differentiate its services: ‘A key difference between EASSy and other sub-Saharan systems is that our system will deliver connectivity to Europe via a direct route through the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea … minimising the time taken for traffic from Africa to reach the key internet peering points in Europe and North America … With the vast majority of international traffic being internet-based, and with most African traffic destined for Europe and the US where the most popular content and applications are located.’
Shareholders in WIOCC include Botswana Telecommunications Corp, TelOne of Zimbabwe, Libyan Post, Telecom & IT Company, Dalkom Somalia, Djibouti Telecom, Gilat Satcom Nigeria, the Seychelles government,Lesotho Telecommunications Authority, Onatel Burundi, Telkom Kenya, TDM Mozambique, U-Com Burundi, Uganda Telecom and Zantel Tanzania. Capacity on EASSy will be available in increments from as little as 2Mbps up to multiple gigabit/s wavelengths.