Group plans undersea cable to link East Africa, Europe

A consortium of companies planning an undersea cable linking eastern Africa with Europe, won the funding it needed to start construction, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press five development finance institutions agreed to loan the consortium a total of $70.7 million.

The East African Submarine Cable System has been working on the $235 million fiber-optic cable project for five years, Lars Thunell, the EVP of the International Finance Corp., the private sector lending arm of the World Bank, was quoted as saying.

'Typical cost of internet access in East Africa is $200 to $300 a month, which is one of the highest in the world,' Thunell told journalists. 'We expect that prices will drop about two-thirds when this project is in place and then continue down.'

T report further said two weeks ago, an even larger project, called SEACOM, also completed its financing for an undersea fiber optic cable. That 9,321-mile cable will link Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique and Tanzania with international broadband cable in South Africa, India and Europe and is estimated to cost $650 million.