Why Bandwidth Prices Won't Fall Too Fast in Africa

Engineering News reports on the SEACOM submarine fibre cable:

The increase in pirate activity during April and May 2009, in terms of intensity and geographical coverage, has necessitated a change in undersea cable system Seacom’s cable installation plans, which has 
resulted in a delay in the ready-for-service date from June 27, 2009 to July 23, 2009.
Its hard to tell how much bandwidth prices will drop in East Africa with the arrival of the SEACOM. However, this article points to a more general problem: reliability.  How often will outages occur, either due to cable cuts or other problems? Since no one knows the answer to this question, most ISPs will have to maintain their costly satellite connections (at least as back up) until the reliability question is answered.

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  • No, the ISPs don't run a racket.
    One of them will break the tentative ranks for the promise of being first to garner the huge market of broke internet users. This one will win, and others will lose, and others will descend to where the winner has already gone.
    They don't have the choice of keeping the prices high. They've been bringing the prices low, even without any savings (under-sea cables) on their part. It will only get catalysed now.

    Same thing is happening to telcos.
    (I'll tell you something about business - ironic, considering it's me saying this - if simply refusing to take prices down was an option for such non-monopolistic entities as our ISPs, "loss" would only be a theoretical construct.)

    By Blogger The 27th Comrade, at 8:29 AM  

  • Reliability is guaranteed by regular maintenance and fast repair response of the Seacom cable. This involves detailed system monitoring and instant fault detection at the NOC centres. A fleet of ships are strategically placed for immediate repair callout and regular maintenance scheduling. The cost of such is neither more expensive nor as time-consuming as regular terrestrial (land-based) cable maintenance. For more information on the Seacom cable project, please visit the Seacom Blog.

    By Anonymous SeacomLive, at 2:56 AM  

  • i am with comrade, he who breaks the ranks will bring them prices tumbling...though it'll be a while since most ISPs are waiting for EASY and TEAMS cables to land so as to get better deals

    By Anonymous Sleek, at 7:13 AM  

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