The first undersea cable providing high speed Internet access to East Africa went live last Thursday. Until now this region has relied upon expensive yet slow satellite connections, holding back Internet usage and associated benefits from not only businesses but also the population at large.
Now that Internet access is set to become faster and cheaper, the hope is that East Africa can finally, truly join the information superhighway that so many of us in the west take for granted. Countries to benefit from this advancement include Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique and South Africa.
There are huge expectations that this will boost economic and social conditions, which no doubt will happen in the long run. In the short term I expect usage of popular, bandwidth-heavy sites like YouTube and Pandora to rise. Similarly, social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn should take off in a big way. I imagine we’ll also see a greater representation of the African continent among the world’s bloggers and tweeters. And not before time.
Photo credit: Mara 1 via Flickr/Creative Commons