New undersea cable lands in Sierra Leone

Oct 10, 2011

An undersea telecommunications table landed in Sierra Leone on Monday, part of a 17,000-kilometre fiber optic line that aims to connect countries along the west African coast to Europe.

At a ceremony receiving his country's part of the line, President Ernest Koroma hailed the "momentous and great communication transformation" in a country where is currently at a mere six percent and mobile penetration at 35 percent.

The Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) cable, run by a 17-member consortium headed by , aims to connect 21 countries, 18 of them in Africa, and is due to be operational in the second half of next year.

The 17,000-kilometre-long (10,540-mile) submarine cable is to run from Cape Town along the west coast of Africa, through Portugal and to France, according to the project's website.

Much of Sierra Leone's communication infrastructure was severely damaged as a result of a 10-year war that ended in 2002.

The ACE project is one of a handful of submarine cables that have been launched in recent years connecting Africa with Europe.

In April a 14,000-kilometre (8,700-mile) West Africa (WACS) fibre optic line linking South Africa's Western Cape province to London landed in the country. The cable has landing points in 10 other countries along Africa's western coast.

All of the projects hold the promise of an for Africa, where only 9.6 percent of people are web users, compared to 65 percent of Europeans.

The capacity of Africa's fibre connections has expanded dramatically since 2009, when the continent relied mainly on slower satellite connections.

But the increased capacity has often been slow to reach residents, especially in rural areas, as service providers have lagged behind in building "last mile" infrastructure -- the wires, cables and towers needed to get data to and from the end user.

Explore further: For top broadband policy, look no further than Canada

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Subsea cable to double S.Africa Internet capacity

Apr 19, 2011

A new undersea telecommunications cable has landed in South Africa, investors announced Tuesday, saying the link would double the broadband capacity of the continent's largest economy.

Kenya gets undersea broadband fibre optic cable

Jun 12, 2009

An undersea fibre optic cable bringing broadband Internet connectivity to east Africa, reached the Kenyan coast from the United Arab Emirates on Friday, the president said.

Recommended for you

HP sales inch up while profit drops

5 hours ago

Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday reported that its quarterly revenue was nudged up by improved computer sales, but its profit dropped as the veteran technology firm tried to renew its momentum.

Giant tablets aimed at families

7 hours ago

Costing a little more than an iPad but standing more than twice as tall, a new pair of giant tablets wants families to share cozier group experiences with technology.

Restaurants experimenting with pay-in-advance tickets

8 hours ago

With restaurant patrons increasingly jumping on the Internet to make reservations, some high-end eateries here and across the country are adding a new tech wrinkle: having their clientele pay for their meal in advance using ...

User comments : 0