For most of this year I have been wondering just how SEACOM, the undersea fiberoptic cable that will bring modern bandwith to the east coast of Africa, was going to navigate the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. More specifically, how they were going to lay cable past the pirates on the Somali coast without running into some sort of problem. Well, it turns out they did have issues in that area. SEACOM has now officially announced a delay in the completion of the cable, which had been scheduled to be ready for service this Saturday (June 27). The new date is July 23, although they are working with Tyco to see if they can speed things up.
But of course, it could have been much worse. A delay of one month is actually quite reasonable, and two or three would be fine too if necessary. Delivering the bandwidth safely is more important than a few weeks here or there, this is a long term development project for the communications infrastructure of East Africa. What I hope is that the pirates don’t have the capability to go after the cables themselves later though… It’s a narrow passage, and there are other cables there.
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