Seacom’s undersea cable system is still not carrying traffic through Egypt and onto Europe, despite the fact that the cable is fully built and ready for service.
The company continues to rely on the Sea-Me-We 4 system through the Red Sea to provide connectivity between East Africa and Europe. The Seacom system extends from Mtunzini on SA’s eastern coastline to Marseille in France and Mumbai in India.
Service interruptions on Sea-Me-We 4 and a physical fault last year on the Seacom cable itself have caused headaches for SA Internet service providers that rely on Seacom’s bandwidth. Fixed-line broadband users have been particularly hard hit by the outages.
Seacom won’t say when it expects to get the necessary transit permits from the Egyptian government. “We can’t take questions on Egypt because of the political sensitivity of the situation,” says head of product strategy, Suveer Ramdhani.
Egypt has been gripped by political unrest this year, which culminated in the resignation in February of President Hosni Mubarak.
Ramdhani says it’s not only Seacom that has felt the impact of the political unheaval in Egypt. “Five other cable systems have also been impacted,” he says.
He adds, however, that Seacom has “no comment at this time”. “All construction across the Seacom system is complete. The last remaining issue is Egypt.” — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral