Fibre internet coming to St Helena in early 2020/2021

SAex (South Atlantic Express Cable)
Cable type Fibre-optic
Fate Planned
Construction beginning 2019[1]
First traffic 2020 (planned)[2]
Design capacity 40 TBit/s[1]
Landing points
Area served South AfricaNamibiaSaint Helena and Brazil
Owner(s) SimplCom South Africa (Pty) Ltd[1]

SAex (South Atlantic Express) is a proposed submarine communications cable linking South Africa to Brazil with branches to Namibia and St Helena.

There were originally no plans to land the cable and install a landing station in Saint Helena. If this were done, however, the cable could supply the island’s population with sufficient bandwidth to fully leverage the benefits of today’s information society. Since January 2012 a campaign called Move This Cable launched by A Human Right, a San Francisco-based NGA working on initiatives to ensure all people are connected to the Internet, has been lobbying for a branch of the SAex cable to land on the remote island of Saint Helena in order to provide high-speed Internet access to the island’s small population of 4,200 people and so to foster socio-economic development.[6][7][8] On October 6, 2012, eFive agreed to reroute the cable through Saint Helena after successful lobbying efforts. Islanders have sought the assistance of the UK Department for International Development and Foreign and Commonwealth Office in funding the £10m required to install a branch from an underwater OADM branching unit on the main cable to the island. The UK Government have announced that a review of the island’s economy would be required before such funding would be agreed to.[9] On 27 October 2017 St Helena Government announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding for a branch from the SAex cable to the island to be delivered in early 2020 which would be largely funded by the European Development Fund.

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