The Seacom undersea cable is going ahead, and Neotel will be landing it in South Africa. This follows the recent furore caused by the Department of Communications' attempt to stop the international cable from landing in South Africa because it didn't have enough African shareholders.
Ajay Pandey, MD of Neotel, told delegates to an M&G breakfast this morning that, while his company has secured rights to the SAT-3 and Safe cables, it would also be landing the Seacom cable in South Africa.
"As we speak, work is taking place to land the cable near Richards Bay," he says.
Pandey stresses that, although Neotel will land the cable, it will have open access, so any other operators or service providers will be able to use the bandwidth it supplies.
The Seacom cable will run up the east coast of Africa to Europe and will also link up to India and China.
"We have to move fast, as a country, to ensure that there is adequate capacity for 2010," he says.
Asked about the recent misunderstandings about whether Seacom and Neotel would be allowed to land the cable in South Africa, Pandey commented that the terms of Neotel's licence allow it to land the cable, and it is going ahead.
"We will be landing the cable; and construction is underway," he says.