Neotel is hosting the Eastern African Submarine Cable System (EASSy) management committee in Johannesburg. The meeting is an important milestone for EASSy, which was recently completed and will be brought into commercial service this month (August 2010).
EASSy is a 1,3Tbps (terabits per second) submarine optical fibre cable system that will link Mtunzini in Northern kwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, to East Africa and onwards to the Middle East, landing in South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comores, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and Sudan.
It is a joint project of more than 20 telecoms operators from across the continent and beyond, including Neotel, Telkom, Vodacom, MTN, Botswana Telecoms Corporation, Zamtel Zambia, Mauritius Telecom, Comoros Telecom, Telecom Malagasy, TTCL Tanzania, Sudatel Sudan, Dalkom Somalia, France Telecom, British Telecom, and WIOCC, itself a consortium including U-COM Burundi, Onatel Burundi, Djibouti Telecom, Telkom Kenya Orange, Lesotho Telecoms Authority, Libya PTITC, TDM Mozambique, Gilat Satcom Nigeria, Government of Seychelles, Zanzibar Telecom, and TelOne Zimbabwe, with various international debt funding institutions.
The members of the EASSy consortium have been working for several years to bring the project to fruition. The bringing into service of the new cable system represents a significant step for the countries and people of southern and East Africa, bringing additional (and in some cases, the first) high bandwidth Internet connectivity to the countries of the region.
Various committees of the consortium have been working on every aspect of the cable system to meet the target date. Neotel recently hosted the EASSy Assignment Routing & Restoration Sub-committee, which finalised, among others, the restoration plan of EASSy cable in the event of unforeseen breakages. Other issues finalised included capacity activation and de-activation, the readiness of the backhaul routes, and physical testing of compatibility of cables in different countries, demonstrating the readiness of the EASSy cable to go live.