A 13,700-kilometre (8,500-mile) undersea fibre-optic cable to provide high-speed Internet access on Africa's Indian Ocean coast went live on Thursday, its operator said.
"Today is a historic day for Africa and marks the dawn of a new era for communications between the continent and the rest of the world," chief executive of SEA Cable System, Brian Herlihy, said in a statement.
Connections linking Johannesburg, Nairobi and Kampala with the coastal landing stations have already been established, the company said, while final links to Kigali and Addis Ababa are underway.
The cable is expected to reduce the cost of broadband access and boost international connections between the east coast of Africa, India and Europe.
"Our tireless efforts of the past 24 months have come to fruition, and we are proud to be the first to provide affordable, high quality broadband capacity and experience to east African economies," said Herlihy.
Lack of high-speed broadband in many African countries results in poor but expensive Internet access, limiting connectivity between the continent and the world.
(c) 2009 AFP
Explore further: At a Glance: Internet TV options