Its now official, another company- Herakles Telecom LLC has commissioned Tyco to survey the 13,000km East and South African coast.
Herakles awarded the SEACOM marine survey to Tyco Telecommunications of
In a press statement posted by Victoria Dillon from Tyco and Brian Herlihy from Herakles, it was confirmed that the cable will connect South Africa, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, India and Europe.
SEACOM becomes the fourth entrant to the scene with questions being raised on whether the costs will come down and the time its likely to take before we get the cable.
In February, the government said the cost of international broadband is set to drastically reduce within 18 months after it confirmed it is ready to adopt three different under sea cables provided through various routes.
Bitange Ndemo, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Information and Communication said that
Priority is given to the East African Marine System (Teams) the fibre optic cable link to
“The lead arranger will take over the private/public TEAMS project and will be in charge of financial sourcing. We expect to be done within 18 months,” said Ndemo.
Under the Teams agreement, the Kenya Government will have a 40 per cent holding in the project, Etisalat of UAE will hold 20% and the remaining 40% will go to investors in the East African region. The Government has said it will organise an Initial Public Offer (IPO) on the Kenyan Stock Exchange.
According to John Waweru, Director General at the Communication Commission of Kenya, the Teams project is expected to recover the costs within three years.
Thirty-two leading telecommunications operators from East and
But the project was dogged by controversy over whether NEPAD should take the overall leadership or the leadership should be led by the private sector. Terrestrial backbone networks are also being built in separate developments to link all capitals and major cities in Eastern and
The third international fibre project is fronted by Kenya Data Network (KDN) and which has now signed its contract with Flag Telecom. KDN will link from
KDN says the link will be fully operational in the first quarter of 2008, just 15 months away. KDN also stresses that its landing station at
According to the PS, the three options are meant to make
He argued that the broadband purchased by international businessmen at a cost of USD 200 costs USD 7,500 in
SEACOM now gives industry players a chance to evaluate whether any of the operators will lay the cable, then the debate can start over its efficacy.