The launch of the WACS cable system in South Africa is an important step towards further connecting Africa to the world. Not only will it provide better connection speeds, but the cable system will have the capacity to lower broadband pricing around the continent.
Sean Nourse, executive for Connectivity at Internet Solutions, said that the WACS cable will provide Africa with many benefits. “Boasting an open access policy and a design capacity of 5.12Tbps, WACS will further boost international broadband competition, reducing pricing, and providing the continent the means to grow exponentially in terms of data consumption,” he said during the launch in Cape Town today.
While Africa has been consuming content from other regions in the world, and not being able to be an international player in content creation, Nourse hopes that this will all change with WACS.
“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. 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,” he explained.
Nourse continued by saying the cable system will propel Africa onto the world stage in terms of content creation. “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.”
He also said that Africans have more to gain from the cable system than just better pricing. “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.”
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor