Yzerfontein named as proposed site for third SA gateway

October 13, 2009 by: admin

Johan Meyer

SA telecommunications network operators want to build a third international submarine cable landing station along the SA coastline to provide an alternative route for the landing stations at Melkbosstrand north of Cape Town and at Mtunzini north of Durban.

Speaking to TechCentral in Cape Town on Monday, Telkom executive for global capacity business, Johan Meyer (pictured), said the landing station would be built at Yzerfontein, 50km north of the Melkbosstrand facility.

However, the construction of the facility was dependent on the completion of a full environmental impact assessment. This assessment could take up to a year to complete, Meyer said.

He said it is now considered good practice for a country to have three international gateways to better cope with submarine cable outages caused by earthquakes, ships’ anchors and fishing trawlers.

Two international cables already land at Mtunzini, with a third, the East African Submarine System (Eassy), to land there next year. And Melkbosstrand is already home to Sat-3/Safe — which connects SA with Portugal and Malaysia — and Sat-2.

A third gateway would ensure that there is more than one fallback if there is a cut in connectivity at, say, Melkbosstrand.

The idea is to land the upcoming West African Cable System (Wacs) at the proposed new site at Yzerfontein.

Wacs is a high-capacity cable that will connect SA with the UK when it goes live in mid-2011. Telkom is an investor in Wacs. Other SA operators that have put money into its construction include MTN and state-owned Broadband Infraco. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral

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