Aidan Baigrie

SEACOM sees its new role as delivering a network and full IP services, says its Head of Business Development, Aidan Baigrie.

Baigrie told the African Peering Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) in Johannesburg, South Africa, today that SEACOM aims to be a lot more than a cable.

“SEACOM sees itself delivering a network of cables, providing full IP services, creating partnerships with terrestrial and last mile service providers, providing capability for exchange points and delivering a cloud services platform through  Pamoja, the new subsidiary set to launch wholesale cloud computing services to enterprises across Africa.”

Baigrie noted that demand for internet access across Africa would not slow down in the foreseeable future.

However, he said: “Building an African internet depends on reliable and pervasive infrastructure. It requires subsea, national, regional and metro connectivity; with fibre to the enterprise and mobile to the masses.”

Baigrie said there were challenges in the way of achieving the ideal for African internet access. Among them were the reliability of subsea and terrestrial fibre; the fact that fibre to enterpises is not affordable enough without critical mass; and the fact that many data centres still embrace “crippling pricing, and as such don’t facilitate regional exchanges.”

In addition, regulatory complexity hampered investment in some countries, while some national policies work against sharing resources and regional hubs.

Baigrie urged all stakeholders to work together to strive for an ‘African internet.’

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