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June 22, 2011

Undersea Cable to Improve Web Access in Zimbabwe
By Beecher Tuttle
TMCnet Contributor

Underwater broadband cable provider SEACOM (News - Alert) has inked a master services agreement with Telecomunicacoes de Mocambique (TDM), the leading telecom company in Mozambique. The deal will allow SEACOM to connect its high-speed Internet cable to landlocked Zimbabwe through a second link, the company noted in a release.

By connecting the undersea cable to Zimbabwe via Mozambique, SEACOM will be complementing its existing route through South Africa via Beit Bridge. The second link will provide Zimbabwe customers with resiliency and redundancy.

Under the terms of the agreement, SEACOM's 8,500-mile cable that runs along the east coast of Africa will connect directly to TDM's infrastructure, which represents the largest and most distributed fiber optic network in Mozambique, according to the AFP.

"This agreement with TDM demonstrates our commitment to partner with established players to improve the range of service to customers whilst continuously expanding the reach of SEACOM’s low cost services into land-locked countries across the region," SEACOM chief executive Brian Herlihy said in a statement.

The AFP reported that the undersea cables on the east and west coasts of Africa have helped to build out the continents fiber optic capacity by 300-fold.

Underwater cabling systems seem to be the answer for countries that don't have the resources to create their own networks. Earlier this year, Cuba celebrated the arrival of its own 1,000-mile cable disseminating from Venezuela.

The cable system should boost Internet speeds in the island nation by 3,000-fold when the testing phase is completed later this year. Cuba has been forced to rely on satellites to manage their communication needs for the last few decades, due to its poor internal infrastructure and its lack of a direct connection to the outside world.

As of earlier this year, Cuba had the second slowest Internet speeds in the world, behind only the remote island chain of Mayotte, according to Akamai (News - Alert) Technologies.

Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves


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