Education and research bodies will qualify for reduced international bandwidth rates when the new submarine fibre optic cable from Seacom becomes operational.
Seacom and Neotel, South Africa’s new national operator have jointly offered Tenet discounted pricing of international bandwidth from South Africa to Europe. Through Tenet, SA universities and research institutions will be able to access 10Gb of the SEACOM international bandwidth capacity in Johannesburg via the Neotel national network.
Additionally, an option has been granted for an additional 10Gb of Seacom's international bandwidth capacity for Tenet to make available to other Southern and East African Research and Education Networks through the UbuntuNet Alliance.
Cost-based pricing was made available which equates to R30 per megabit per month, which is several hundred times cheaper than today’s cost of international bandwidth in South Africa. In the proposal, Seacom would provide international connectivity from Europe to Mtunzini and Neotel would provide national connectivity from Mtunzini to Johannesburg for distribution to academic institutions around the country.
Seacom recently announced the start of its marine survey and the signing of a construction agreement for the 13 000 km project which involves the construction of the undersea fiber optic network providing high capacity bandwidth connectivity between South Africa, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, India, the Middle East and Europe.
Seacom and Neotel have announced agreement of commercial terms for the partnership of landing the SEA Cable System in South Africa. Through the partnership, Neotel will own the cable landing station and all facilities within the South African territory. The terms of the agreement ensure that the operation of the cable will meet current and future regulations, in line with the Electronic Communications Act of 2006.
Neotel will operate the facilities on an open access basis; Neotel and Seacom believe that such a policy will stimulate the South African international bandwidth market and make available affordable bandwidth to South African customers.
“We see this as an opportunity for us to make a small but significant change to the face of education in Africa,” says Brian Herlihy, president of Seacom.
“Seacom hopes that our actions signal our intention to meet the policy objectives of African Governments and NEPAD. While our commercial pricing will deliver affordable infrastructure for the growth of the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, in particular business process outsourcing, and call centers, we have made this special concession to ensure growth of research industries and education networks thereby fostering the growth of the knowledge economy.
"This exceptional offer to Tenet will enable the universities and research institutions of South Africa, as well as those of other countries of eastern and southern Africa, to participate in the global research and education networking community on a scale that is totally impossible today.”