Thursday, June 25, 2009

SEACOM Project Delayed by Pirate Activity

The submarine telecoms cable being built around the Eastern coast of
Africa is being delayed by increased pirate activity in the area over
the past few months. SEACOM now says that its planned "ready for
service" date has been pushed back to 23 July 2009. The planned route
required the ship to transit an area of increased pirate activity
where other ships had been attacked or seized.

The cable deployment in the troublesome waters has since been
completed and splicing to connect the section of cable from Mumbai to
Africa is expected shortly. Testing of the larger cable system will be
finalised shortly thereafter. The cable section from South Africa
(Mtunzini) to Kenya (Mombasa), including all south and east African
landing stations, has already undergone successful testing.

In the meantime, SEACOM is working with its contractor, Tyco
Telecommunications, to find ways of accelerating the outstanding works
and bring forward the ready for service date ahead of 23 July 2009.

Brian Herlihy, SEACOM CEO, said: "Due to sensitivities around piracy
issues, their impact on the project timeline was only fully
established recently and whilst I am personally truly disappointed by
the delay, it was imperative that strong measures be put in place to
guarantee the successful completion of the cable system and the safety
of the ship and its crews.

"This setback should however be seen against the herculean efforts
made by the team to see this project come to fruition over an
incredibly tight schedule of only 18 months. We remain extremely
excited and look forward to witnessing the huge difference that
affordable, high quality and plentiful bandwidth will have throughout
eastern and southern Africa."

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