Seacom promises international bandwidth at 'fraction of today's cost'

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The price of international bandwidth will plummet 80% when the Seacom undersea cable goes live on June 17 2009, more or less the same date as the TEAMS cable in Kenya. Construction has already started and Seacom president Brian Herlihy said the project was on track for a "dead-certain delivery date".

Its bandwidth will cost as little as R267 a month per 1MB, compared to between R3,500 and R11,000 to use Telkom's bandwidth on the existing Sat-3 cable, or a punishing R231,000 for satellite connectivity. "It's going to flood international bandwidth into the markets and drop the international component of prices dramatically," Herlihy said.

Herlihy refused to be drawn into "mud-slinging" about the likelihood of a plan materialising for African governments to roll out rival cables heading east and west. That project, the Nepad Broadband Infrastructure Network, was dreamed up when SA's government scrapped plans to support yet another cable, the US$235m Eassy project. Herlihy diplomatically said his consortium was "keeping dialogue open" with the government. It agreed that more pan-African cables were needed and might get involved if they made economic sense.

Business Day