When Brian Herlihy founded SEA- COM in 2006, his goal was to
give East Africa its first-ever broadband
access via fiber-optic cables. Three years
later, the company began to provide
fiber-optic bandwidth along the East
Coast of Africa, linking South Africa
to India and Europe via landing points
in Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya,
Djibouti and Egypt.
Herlihy is optimistic about the
potential short-term and long-term benefits that broadband service will have
in Africa, especially as the company
plans to expand the number of cables
and improve existing inland networks.
Herlihy will discuss the challenges and
successes of the SEACOM project as a
plenary session keynote speaker at this
year’s Optical Fiber Communication
Conference and Exposition and National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference
(OFC/NFOEC), which will take place
from March 21-25 in San Diego.
Access to cheap
and readily available
broadband will allow
East and Southern
Africa to connect to
networks and gain
access to previously
What inspired you to initiate
What was your process for
deploying a fiber-optic cable
connection between Asia,
Europe and Africa?
We’re trying to offer one seamless prod-
uct to end users that spans 11 sovereign
nations. That required us to overcome
tax-related issues and to develop a single
contract that contained the inner work-
ings of agreements that would allow the
product to go through all the countries.
At SEACOM, as an international entity,
we had to figure out how to sign con-
tracts at a local level and then deliver the
product in and out of each country.
14 | OPN Optics & Photonics News