The Equiano subsea internet cable reached South Africa on Monday. It landed at Melkbosstrand, north of Cape Town, said to be the last stop on its route south for the 12-fibre-pair system.
The Google-owned cable system connects South Africa with Portugal and has landing stations in Namibia and Nigeria. It’s also the first cable to connect the remote Atlantic Ocean island of St Helena.
Equiano has a design capacity of 144Tbit/s, making it the highest-capacity internet cable ever to land in Africa. More to the point for the local population, its arrival promises to drive down internet costs in South Africa when it comes online in the coming months.
This was pointed out by telecoms and data centre infrastructure company WIOCC, which said in a statement that Google’s state-of-the-art cable will have a direct impact on connectivity throughout the Southern Africa region, resulting in faster internet speeds, reduced internet prices and improved user experience. It also said the cable would extend WIOCC's wholesale offering in South Africa.
WIOCC is a key partner in Equiano, landing the cable in Lagos and owning a full fibre pair on the system. As a fibre pair owner, WIOCC’s Equiano capacity is upgradable fully under its own control. WIOCC owns and manages its own submarine line terminating equipment (SLTE), choosing to light and upgrade its capacity exactly as it wishes to meet the needs and demands of its clients.
One obvious use of WIOCC’s Equiano capacity is for data centres and, sure enough, WIOCC has said the capacity will be extended into a new facility from WIOCC Group company Open Access Data Centres. The facility is currently undergoing fit-out in Rondebosch, Cape Town, where clients can interconnect with terrestrial infrastructure providers, cloud networks, partners, suppliers and other ecosystem members.
OADC plans three new core data centres in the country and, by next year, over 100 edge data centres.