The West Africa Cable System (WACS) is a cable system connecting West Africa with the United Kingdom. WACS is a submarine cable system designed to bring a broadband internet connection to various parts of West and South Africa via the United Kingdom.
The cable system is made up of four fibre pairs that stretch a total length of over 14484 Kilometers. Along the length of the cable network are 14 landing points to connect to the system.
- South Africa, Western Cape, Yzerfontein
- Namibia, Swakopmund
- Angola, Sangano near Luanda
- Democratic Republic of Congo, Muanda
- Republic of Congo, Matombi near Pointe Noire
- Cameroon, Limbe, near Douala
- Nigeria, Lekki, near Lagos
- Togo, Afidenyigba near Lomé
- Ghana, Nungua near Accra
- Ivory Coast, Abidjan
- Cape Verde, Palmarejo near Praia
- Canary Islands, Telde(el Goro) near Las Palmas
- Portugal, Sesimbra near Seixal
- United Kingdom, Brean near Highbridge
Of these points, 12 of them reside in Africa with 2 of them located in Europe. Additionally the WACS uses a revolutionary two conductor set up consisting of two connections from Europe to West Africa and West Africa to South Africa. This system cuts down on the total voltage needed to operate compared to the traditional single conductor set up.
The overall impact of the WACS is that it will provide affordable, functional and fast internet to many parts of Namibia and other African countries. These locations originally were serviced with minimal internet capability at best and none at worst. Another major impact is that there are many different companies and even some governments that all own a share of the WACS connection. This means that they have a certain percentage claim on the amount of traffic run though the cable system. This allows them to offer better connectivity and greater access to the goods and services available on the internet.
As mentioned above, many different companies and governments have invested various amounts of money into the construction and maintenance of the WACS project. This means that part of the upkeep and repair of the WACS falls onto the shoulders of these individuals in exchange for being allowed to use the cable network. For instance MTN Group invested around N$1 billion towards the construction of the cable granting them an 11% share of the cables capacity. Additionally these companies will further boost the economies in their area as more people will be needed to operate and maintain their share of the WACS but also to maximize their individual share of the cable network for either commercial or person use.Impact of West Africa cable system (WACS) on Namibia