A WHOLE LOT OF FIBRE
In Part One of this series, I posited that the fight for broadband dominance in East and Southern Africa was only between O3b Networks’ proposed launch of 16 LEOS and the long-running and oft maligned EASSy fibre optic project. Essentially, it is still a fight between two opposing methods of delivering the broadband backhaul to East Africa. The only thing that has changed is that EASSy has been relegated to “also-ran” status by breakaway factions within it’s own organization—breakaway factions that are fast-moving, nimble and a lot more ambitious than EASSy ever set out to be.
In part two, I’ll take a deeper look at new entrants in the race to dock high capacity undersea fibre optic lines on the East and South African coastlines. But first, I’d like to thank everyone who sent in their great comments in part one that lent insight into the flurry of activity in the fibre optic space.
Let me start acknowledging that yes, there are other fibre optic initiatives targeted at Sub-Saharan Africa’s shores, including Neotel’s SAT3/SAFE-backboned initiative, NEPAD’s re-formed WACS, and the recently announced MaIN onE-all which dock or are soon to dock on the West and South-West African shores. I’ll mainly concentrate on initiatives critical to East Africa’s ability to join the information super highway, which up to now has zero access to the international undersea cable network.