Botswana’s US$37.5 million undersea cable to be live in May

Botswana is set to launch its US$37.5 million undersea cable in mid- May, a move expected to slash internet connection rates and provide faster internet service in the country. The project is a partnership between the Botswana and
Namibia governments, who each contributed US$37.5
million to buy a 9.2 per cent of the West Africa Cable System (WACS), to be operated in an open access policy. The cable connection is expected to be completed by May this year, before an official
launch in Swakopmund, Namibia, where both countries’ presidents will give speeches. The WACS cable will be the second cable system into Botswana, after the East Africa
Submarine Cable System (EASSy), which provides connections speeds of up to 3.8
terabits per second. WACs will however be superior to EASSy, as it will provide speeds of up to 5.12
terabits per second. This is expected to reduce the interconnection rate, considering that WACs is also
made for easy upgrading in the future. Commenting about the project, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Group
chief executive, Paul Taylor, said: “Broadband access is no longer a privilege, but a
right to be enjoyed by all citizens, We are confident that through WACS, internet
speed and connectivity will increase considerably at a price that makes internet
services affordable for many of our citizens.” WACs will allow Botswana direct connection to Europe, providing both data and
telephony services and 15 direct landing stations along Africa’s west coast.

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