The brand new, Google-owned undersea fibre optic Equiano cable has finally reached South African shores. It made land at Melkbosstrand in the Western Cape at a Telkom facility.
But why does this matter?
Well, this undersea Internet cable is supposed to bring down Internet prices and increase bandwidth for South Africans when it eventually comes online in the next month or two.
We have touchdown
This cable started its undersea journey in Portugal and extends down the west coast of Africa. When it was first announced in 2019, the idea was to have it land in Nigeria first. But in March 2022, Togo became the first African country to receive it. It has since made land in Nigeria and Namibia, with the isolated tropical island of Saint Helena also on the list.
Chris Wood, CEO of the West Indian Cable Company (WIOCC) group which owns one of the twelve pairs of fibre cables within Equiano said, “we are extremely well positioned to provide businesses with access to fully upgradeable, quickly and easily scalable capacity throughout South Africa and into neighbouring countries, over one of the most future-proof networks in the country.”
With a design capacity of 144Tb/s, this cable has the highest capacity of any Internet cable on the African continent. It isn’t a far stretch to imagine how the increased bandwidth to the country would result in lower prices for high-speed internet from local service providers. Let’s hope they decide to go the route of cutting prices and not keep all that extra bandwidth for themselves.