Seacom not only bandwidth but hopeBy Mike Joubert 24 July 2009 | Categories: news
It is difficult to convey the hope that yesterday’s switching on of the 17 000 km Seacom cable brings.
Although those in the know seem to agree that there will be no serious price cuts to Broadband coming soon, an air of optimism was prevalent in the Neotel main auditorium in Midrand where the launch took place.
What the Seacom cable, with its 1.28 TB capacity, leads to, should not be measured by the fact that a lot more people will be able to watch YouTube videos without having to wait for it to download. Rather what the cable will provide, we hope, is serious connectivity and the benefits that come with this. During the past two years the South African web scene exploded with services brought about by trial blazing individuals such as Matthew Buckland (20fourlabs & www.matthewbuckland.com ) and Justin Hartman (Afrigator and Gatorpeeps).
With Seacom here the SA web is poised for lift off. Fact of the matter is there is gold in them there hills. Fast and freely available broadband will carry with it an opportunity to come up with truly local solutions, catering to the needs of a proudly South African audience, and there will be money and jobs that comes with it. We truly can’t wait to see what South Africans can come up with, and will support this as best we can.
Yvon le Roux, Cisco VP for Africa and Levant, spoke at the launch about the changes that Seacom can bring to healthcare, security, government and also education. While that might be true, it’s also about the willingness of those in charge to embrace the new technology. Looking back at ICT policies Government put in place in the past there’s no reason to expect major changes coming soon (let’s face it, we should have been here at least three years ago). Le Roux also spoke about the global market place now opening up, and this is where the real opportunity lies for us here at the tip of Africa. We have a chance to develop the skills necessary to make South Africa an outsourcing hub, and now we have the broadband to provide the service. It\'s time for entrepreneurs to truly unlock the power of the net to South Africans, and for us to show the world what we are capable of.
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