14 August 2019

St Helena expects ship to survey seabed for Google's Equiano cable on August 18th


Progress of Marine Route Survey for Google‘s Equiano cable as of August 14th, 2019
In a press release from August 14th, 2019 St Helena Government announced that the MV Fugro Gauss is expected to arrive in St Helena's waters on Sunday, August 18th to explore the seabed for the planned landing of Google's Equiano cable.

The marine route survey will collect vital data for the project to confirm that the route of the branch to St Helena is benign and to gather the detailed information which enables the final route engineering to be undertaken before the cable is being manufactured. Potential landing locations on St Helena are Rupert's Bay and Sandy Bay.

The MV Fugro Gauss is purpose-built for hydrographic and cable route surveys and fitted with a bespoke infrastructure for both geophysical and geotechnical survey work particularly in very deep waters. The ship is 69m long, has a gross tonnage of 1684to and offers accommodation for up to 12 crew, 12 passengers and 4 guests.

The marine route survey for Google's Equiano cable was launched on July 8th with the landing site in Melkbosstrand, South Africa, then continued along the Western coastline of South Africa and Namibia before the path of the next branch to land at Swakopmund was explored.

In the evening of August 14th the MV Fugro Gauss was located 1000km off the Angolan coast and at an equal distance from St Helena and was steaming at a speed of 8kt directly towards St Helena.

 
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I'm an IT engineer and I would love to return to my island to start an IT business, but because of the slow, expensive and unreliable internet connection this is simply impossible.
I had to leave St Helena to study. Being 5000 miles away from my family and friends is hard. Not being able to skype with them due to the slow and expensive internet on St Helena is even harder.
Socioeconomic status is now heavily reliant on broadband penetration. With the ever-growing importance of the internet, St Helena with its limited access is in danger of being left behind.