Seychelles' second underwater optical cable scheduled to land in July 2021
The objectives of the project are "to connect Seychelles to worldwide broadband internet via fibre-optic submarine networks, provide redundancy and security for connectivity. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A second underwater optical cable linking Seychelles to the rest of the world with faster and more reliable internet is scheduled to land on the island nation in July 2021.
The cable's landing is planned at Perseverance - a man made island on the northeastern coast of the main island of Mahe.
A public consultative meeting was held last weekend to give residents of Perseverance more information about the project, named PEACE. The PEACE project is being implemented by the Seychelles Cable System Company Limited at a cost of $20 million.
Eric Delort from iXblue which has been contracted to conduct the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment study explained that the objectives of the project are "to connect Seychelles to worldwide broadband internet via fibre-optic submarine networks, provide redundancy and security for connectivity and enhance Seychelles' economy."
The cable is a very long one. It comes from Pakistan goes up to Europe and comes down to Africa. The branch connecting Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean - will come from Kenya.
iXblue is a French company a leader in oceanography and geophysics, a manufacturer of oceanographic equipment with vast experience in ship and drone yard, environmental analysis and marine biology, marine survey as well as full ocean oceanographic buoys.
|A public consultative meeting was held last weekend to give residents of Perseverance more information about the project. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY|
Delort said that the landing of the cable took into consideration major constraints including avoiding several areas which included sensitive zones including corals reefs, protected areas, rocky landing areas, anchoring zones for large ships, trawler fishing area and main maritime routes.
Perseverance offered the best landing option. "Perseverance is a reclaimed island with few fishermen and marine activities, no protected areas, a sandy place allowing easy work, minimised impact, no coral reef barrier and the cable route is away from main maritime routes," explained Delort.
Once landed work will be undertaken to bury the cable on the beach, where no adverse impact is expected. In fact, Seychelles' first fibre optic cable – the Seychelles East Africa System which is connected from Dar Es Salaam - landed 10 years ago at the very popular touristic beach of Beau Vallon with no incidents recorded.
Last weekend's public meeting had a poor turnout. The chairperson of the Seychelles Cable System Company Limited Benjamin Choppy said that "unfortunately some people do not take up this opportunity. Even the district administrators did not come and they are the voices of their communities."
Choppy added that "if the public does not attend the meetings at least the district representatives should be here. The opportunity was presented so it would be unfair later to complain or criticise."