A new 14000km, ultra-high capacity (5 terabits per second) fibre-optic submarine cable made landfall on the west coast of Western Cape... after landing stops in 13 countries, 11 of which are on Africa's west coast. The cable is the first to be funded by all South Africa's major telecoms operators... The “open access model” employed for WACS (West African Cable System) is a system that allows all the funders or telecoms operators that own bandwidth capacity on the cable to have equal access, despite them not having landing sites of their own...."
Implications from Southern Africa Horizons Scan:
"The concept of “open access” will substantially improve access to the new cable system for telecoms providers - even those who have not invested in WACS - thus spurring competition. The new spirit of openness and competition is one that has been encouraged by South Africa’s recently updated Electronic Communications Act, which places a heavy emphasis on sharing expensive infrastructure. This can be seen in moves to even share cellphone base stations to bring down the unit cost of providing telecommunications services. The spirit of co- operation can also be seen in the clubbing together of telecoms providers to provide the new national terrestrial fibre-optic network."
Implications from IFTF:
This one is particularly interesting because, even more than the new capacity brought about by telecom access, the cultural shift among providers seems like it has potential for radical change.