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ACE Submarine Cable – Connecting Africa to the digital world
In 2012, Phase 1 of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable, comprising nearly 12 000 kilometres of fibre-optic cable, was launched to connect 13 coastal and two land-locked countries between France and Sao Tomé & Principe.
Nigeria will be connected by mid-2013.This Phase has already made a significant impact on the countries involved. Once complete, ACE will substantially increase the speed of internet access and reduce the price of ICT services, thereby increasing demand on the continent.
Seven countries, The Gambia, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Sao Tomé & Principe and Sierra Leone, were not previously connected to any submarine cables and are now benefiting from ultra-high speed broadband. ACE is an important milestone in ICT infrastructure development in Africa and will improve not only connectivity but also broadband uptake.
Currently internet and telephone costs in some African countries are charged at up to 20 times more than in Europe. These costs will be drastically reduced by ACE. Spread across more than 17 000 kilometers, the undersea fiber-optic cable system will eventually connect 25 African countries along the west coast, and will later extend to Cape Town in South Africa. The current broadband capacity of 1.92 terabits will be enhanced to 5.12 terabits, delivering ultra-high-speed broadband networks and increasing connectivity with the rest of the digital world.