News update – Fibre optic cable survey underway to connect Seychelles to African mainland


EGS Explorer left the Victoria port on Mahe yesterday to commence a long distance survey mission, which will end on the African mainland at Dar es Salaam port, aimed at establishing the contours of the seabed along which the fibre optic connection will be laid. East Africa is now connected to three main fibre optic cables but no link was ever established with the Seychelles where the slower satellite links are still being used as the main route of data and voice communications. The project is undertaken by Cables & Wireless in conjunction with Airtel, ensuring that the two leading communications companies are also financially underwriting the cost of the investment, with government being the third major shareholder and contributor.

Completion of the link is expected by mid / late 2012, also depending on weather of course which might have an impact on the actual deployment of the cable. At that stage will the archipelago be fully linked to highest speed global communications, likely resulting in lower tariffs and subsequent wider usage of the internet.

The journey from the Seychelles to Tanzania is expected to last for about 2 weeks and the data collected will then allow the ‘design team’ to establish the most viable routing for the cable.

It is understood that the ship’s progress is being monitored by aerial assets available to the naval coalition and that the ship is equipped and manned to deal with any eventualities they may encounter during their journey.