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Web 2.0 and Development
Innovative Uses of Cell Phones
New Approaches to Broadcasting
This document is a subsection of Platforms
The EASSy Project: East African Submarine Cable System
The East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy) project consists of the construction of approximately 10,000 km of fiber optic submarine cable along the East African coast, linking Sudan to South Africa, with additional landing points in Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar and Mozambique. The following is an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats inherent to the project.
The EASSy Project responds to a need:
The EASSy project offers a solution to infrastructural Internet access problems in Eastern Africa. It responds to a critical need for an effective and affordable Internet connection in a large region of Africa. The EASSy project intervenes in a sub-developed market. There are few direct high-capacity Internet links between and within African countries, and high-capacity transmission lines are mainly concentrated in the US, Europe and Asia. As a result, about 75% of Internet traffic in Africa first goes through Europe or the US, and is then routed back, a very costly process. For example, while Benin and Burkina Faso are neighbors, Internet traffic between them passes through France or Canada.
The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Canada estimates that Africa spends at least $400 million each year on the use of international bandwidth for national or regional data. In fact, in many cases, e-mails sent between two Internet service providers in the same country are sent abroad and then rerouted back because domestic Internet Exchange Points (IXP) are lacking.