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Emerging nations built bit bypass round Europe

BRICS countries plunge deep into the Atlantic to build a fast lane

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The internet packets flowing between the emerging economic powerhouses of the New World will soon bypass Europe entirely. This week the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – agreed to build a 12.8Tbit/s undersea link between Brazil and South Africa and Angola.

The South Atlantic Express cable system (SA ex) will become the shortest and fastest route between the Americas, Africa and Indian and China.

Funding comes largely from the private sector: Chinese banks and debt equity, and the state-owned South African industrial development corporation IDC. It will be led by eFive Telecomms, TechCentral SA reports.

Alcatel Lucent and Huawei will provide key infrastucture.

It's just one of several investments intended to cut costs and speed up traffic between Africa, the Americas and Asia. The SAT-3/WASC/SAFE (South Atlantic 3/West Africa Submarine Cable/South Africa Far East) system links Portugal, South Africa and Asia; and a newer, faster cable network, Main One – which runs from Nigeria and Ghana to Portugal – is gradually being expanded. Phase II will take it to South Africa.

The project was announced at the BRICS Leaders meeting in China this week. You can find some interesting Chinese reflections on the summit via the state news agency here. ®

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