New cable to boost internet access in Africa

With four times more data, West Africa Cable System, or WACS, boosts bandwidth for the world's least-connected region.

     

    Work has begun to lay undersea communications cable along the coast of West Africa. The cable is set to give more Africans a fast internet access for the first time.

    The West Africa Cable System, known by its acronyms (WACS), runs 14,000 kilometres from London to South Africa.

    It is expected to land in at least 12 countries along the way.

    Namibia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo and Togo have not had direct access to a submarine communications cable before.

    Only about 10 per cent of Africans are web users, compared to 65 per cent of Europeans.

    The continent’s fibre optic connections have improved immensely in the past few years.

    But low bandwidth and short-sighted regulation meant Africa still lagged way behind in the internet revolution across the developed world.

    WACS carries well over four times more information than any other African data pipeline. In the modern, wired-up world, getting online makes a real difference to social and economic development. The new system will boost the bandwidth of the world's least-connected region.

    Al Jazeera's Rory Challands reports.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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