With less than a million citizens, Djibouti struggles with the abysmal ICT indicators. Its internet hums with 12% penetration while mobile SIM penetration is 36% only. Now flip the page. Nine submarine cables transit at Djibouti to link Africa, the Middle East and Asia with Europe. Australia is coming soon!
Iraq has engaged Cisco to build a terrestrial optical network up to Turkey. Dubbed as “The Iraqi National Backbone” it will reach most major Iraqi cities. It will be available to the public as the new official internet service provider (ISP) for Iraq. The new network is an alternative to existing submarine networks that reached the Middle East from Europe either via the Suez Canal, or by a longer route around the Horn of Africa. It will offer the highest capacity and lowest latency of any Europe-Middle East communications solution.
Bangladesh is connected with the world through only one submarine cable system (SEA-ME-WE4). Nearly four months back, Douglas Madory of Renesys Corporation has analyzed the significance of terrestrial cables for the backup of Internet. He wrote: The Internet of Bangladesh has been connected to the world by a single submarine cable, Sea-Me-We 4 (SMW4), since this 18,800 kilometer-long optical-fiber system made its landing at Cox’s Bazar in 2006. However, in the nearly seven years since SMW4’s activation, national Internet outages have plagued Bangladesh with some regularity. When their portion of this system is sabotaged, suffers a failure or is down for maintenance, virtually all Internet bandwidth for the 7th most populous country in the world disappears, forcing local providers to fall back to slow and expensive satellite services or to simply wait for restoration.
Bangladesh is a big country and a coastal country. Yet it was very late in getting connected to a cable. SEA-ME-WE 4 became operational only in 2006. Then it was the largest country without redundancy,having to rely on SEA-ME-WE 4 even to communicate with India, the country that surrounds it. Now all that is over.
Botswana is a landlocked country. It invested in the West Africa Cable System (WACS) which it connected to through Namibia. It is now reaping the benefits. Internet prices are expected to go down as the Botswana Telecommunications Corporations (BTC) Group has slashed its wholesale internet bandwidth prices by 59 percent due to the commissioning of the West Africa Cable System (WACS) undersea cable. There is a lesson here for other landlocked countries.