Internet: Last piece of fibre-optic jigsaw falls into place as cable links east Africa to grid
The world is getting connected! High-speed internet access is coming to East Africa, greatly increasing access speed and reducing costs, which will boost knowledge and productivity.
Thanks to JulianW for posting a link to this story on a related one:
They are the arteries of the modern world. Stretching for tens of thousands of miles over the ocean beds, the vast web of intercontinental submarine cables have brought the possibility of cheap high-speed internet and clear long-distance telephone calls to all major parts of the globe. Except one.
East Africa remains the only large, inhabited coastline cut off from the global fibre-optic network. Reliant entirely on expensive satellite connections, people on the world's poorest continent pay some of the highest rates for logging on or phoning. Local universities are charged up to 50 times more for bandwidth than a typical American college, making online research slow or impossible.
"Imagine you had all the students at Oxford trying to access the web through a single UK household connection," said Calestous Juma, a Kenyan professor who heads the Science, Technology and Globalisation Project at Harvard University. "That's what it's like for most students in Africa."
But with the last piece of the global fibre-optic jigsaw about to fall into place, all that is set to change. In October, the first lengths of a new 9,300-mile submarine cable to serve east Africa will be loaded on to a ship and then unrolled into the Indian Ocean.