The West African Cable Systems (WACS), the undersea cable running up the west coast of Africa, has been launched. The cable has an open access policy and a design capacity of 5,12Tbps.

Sean Nourse, executive: connectivity at Internet Solutions, believes WACS will further boost international broadband competition, reducing pricing, and providing the continent the means to grow exponentially in terms of data consumption.

“To date, Africa has been a consumer of content produced by the US and Europe – often as a result of restrictive or non-existent access to broadband Internet,” he says.

“With the so-called ‘broadband abundance’ now at our disposal, and in conjunction with ICASA’s laudable ruling on the IPC cost – hopefully indicative of the regulator’s commitment to developing the country’s connectivity infrastructure – we can expect to see enormous social and economic changes in the country.

“As South Africans and Africans gain access to information through reliable, fast connectivity, education and creativity is set to soar, developing the country as a producer, rather than a consumer of content. With Africa’s history of a continent rich in resources, technology will allow us to transmute physical resources to intellectual property resources.

“The lack of adequate bandwidth has always been an enormous hurdle to Africa taking its place on the world economic stage. WACS adds to Africa’s capability to become as a true global player.”