All set to receive fibre-optic cable


24-May-2012

SCS board members during the press conference yesterday

The board members of the Seychelles Cable System company (SCS) said this yesterday at a press conference they held at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay resort, hosted to let the public know what to expect.

Also present were senior police officers who will coordinate maritime as well as onland vehicular and human traffic between the La Plage restaurant and the Boat House and the area near the Bazar Labrin venue where heavy equipment will be working to pull the cable.

The board members were SCS chairman Benjamin Choppy – who is also the principal secretary for information communications technology, the chief executive of Cable and Wireless Charles Hammond and the chief executive of Airtel Tsirasy Randriamampiowana.

Also there was Steve Moore, a representative of the UK’s Shore End company, who will supervise the cable landing.

Offshore activity will start today and the police have asked boat operators to steer away from the areas that will be marked by buoys, as divers prepare the ground where the cable will be buried one metre deep into the sand.

Superintendent Jean-Paul Ernesta and Inspector Michael Tambara said although the actual landing day will be a Sunday when families would love to be on the beach, it is important that they obey the instructions of the police officers at the site for the individuals’ safety.

Mr Choppy said the cable itself is not thick and environmentalists have had a say where it will pass, “but it will have almost no environment impact during installation and will be buried and inert later, causing no interference at all with people or the environment.

Messrs Hammond and Randriamampiowana said signals that are now taking 800 milliseconds to travel by satellite will be taking 200 milliseconds, highly boosting the quality and capacity of the information systems will be able to carry.

Consumers who are already connected will not need to do anything to get the better service.
Both their companies will, however, maintain a small volume of satellite connectivity in case of “cable cuts” which Mr Choppy said are highly unlikely.

They said the SCS will continue to exist as a company given it has loans to repay, but that it is too early to talk of a second cable installation.

The new cable will be tested for over a period of six weeks after which it will be fully operational, and is expected to be in service for at least 25 years.

Since the country will now be connected to the cable which should be cheaper except for the installation costs, the price of telecommunication services should eventually go down, they said.

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