The Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable has been extended down the coast of western Africa from São Tomé and Príncipe to South Africa.
The cable is now connecting Duynefontein, north of Cape Town in South Africa, to Penmarch, in the French region of Brittany.
Along the 17,000Km route, the cable has sub-lines going into Portugal, Canary Islands, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and São Tomé and Príncipe, the former last landing point.
The landlocked countries of Niger and Mali are also connected to the infrastructure through terrestrial fibre network extensions.
The system represents an overall investment of US$700 million, $250 million is funded by the Orange (EPA: ORA) group and its subsidiaries.
Further links are currently being deployed into Nambia, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In South Africa, ACE has now been linked into national data centre operator Teraco. This is the eighth submarine cable system to connect at Teraco.
Michele McCann, head of interconnection and peering at Teraco, said: “Our position as the interconnection hub in Africa allows us to address the increasing demands for global data transit.
“Users of ACE now have direct access to Teraco’s ecosystem of over 350 networks, 130 IT service providers, 50 global content providers, and the key global cloud providers via their cloud onramps located in Teraco.
“Data centres like ours act as the perfect neutral hub for interconnection and data exchange. It is here that cloud onramps and switching points from many different cloud providers and network operators meet. As companies increasingly embrace a hybrid infrastructure, the integration and interconnection between the different systems and platforms play a vital role.”
According to McCann, this interconnectedness within data centres provides organisations with opportunities to address their digital transformation through choice and access speeds effectively. This increased capacity and reach across Africa will bring a direct benefit to data-driven organisations whilst also supporting further development across the Internet ecosystem.”
Commissioned to support the cost-effective delivery of broadband services and digital applications for education, healthcare and other e-services, ACE reaches an estimated 450 million people, equivalent to 5.8% of the world’s population.