Thursday, July 30, 2009

One Cable Connects So Many

We have written before about the dependence much of Africa has to the undersea SAT-3 cable running down its west coast from Portugal and Spain to South Africa.

We now discover that much of West Africa has suffered a major fault and are still struggling to get back online. The fault has caused a communications blackout and many problems in Benin, Togo, Niger and Nigeria. Some 70% of Nigeria's bandwidth has been effected, disrupting; banking, government and mobile phone networks. Companies have been forced to use satellite links just to maintain connections to the rest of the world.

The 9,300mile SAT-3 cable lands in eight West African countries as it winds its way between Europe and South Africa. On the other side of Africa the countries have had no alternative but to go to mobile communication, but the disparity and poor connectivity across the continent, shows the difference between the highly connected western world and the poorly unconnected third world.

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