FIBRE OPTIC LINK TO THE WORLD SET TO LAND ON SUNDAY
The Seychelles will be a step closer to joining the global super information highway at the speed of light, when on Sunday the fibre optic cable presently being laid between the coast of Tanzania and the archipelago is expected to make landfall. Presently connected only via satellite links, the government of Seychelles partnered with Cable and Wireless and Airtel to shoulder the investment cost and bring the country into the 21st century of telecommunications. Tariffs for calls and internet usage are expected to drop as faster speeds and multiplied capacity will need to be exploited by the telecom and ISP companies. The cable will land at Beau Vallon Bay where it will be connected to a switch station before reaching via underground cable ducts the telecoms companies, which will then distribute the signals via wireless high speed broadband or else to offices and residences via cable.
The satellite connections will be kept operational as back up, should the fibre optic cable on the seafloor be damaged, as has happened a few times in recent months off the East African coast, leading to serious service disruptions for Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
Full connectivity is expected to commence with the benefit of higher speeds and greater capacity when the connections and infrastructure on land are complete and the test phase, expected to take up to 2 months, has been successfully wrapped up.
With the cable landing on a Sunday, substantial crowds are expected at the Beau Vallon Bay beaches of curious onlookers, wanting to see the world come to the Seychelles. The new connection is thought to create an immediate impact of about the user spread and penetration of the internet across the islands at affordable rates, aiding research and studies as well as making e-commerce a greater reality for all sectors of the economy, but especially tourism where visitors often ask first for internet connectivity before even checking where their room is when they arrive at a resort.