I try not to be shocked any more at new announcements of undersea cable projects that are destined for African shores. But it’s no good. I am gobstopped again with the announcement of the BRICs cable. I struggle now to find ways to represent all the impending capacity on a single map without it looking like a dog’s breakfast. What I thought was a clever innovation, using the width of the cable as an indicator of design capacity, has turned out to be a nightmare as cables like the SAEx cable announced a design capacity of 12.8 terabits/s, 10 times that of the Seacom cable which launched in 2009. Then things got worse with the WASACE cable announcing a planned design capacity of 40 terabits/s. Trying to implement that in terms of varying width cables made it look like someone had taken big graffiti marker to the map.
It was clearly time to go non-linear. Now the width of the cables still scale with capacity but they do so logarithmically. Something else I would never have guessed I would need to do. The new version of the map now has both WASACE and BRICS. There is also the new cable announced by Telebras and Angola Cables but I am holding off adding that one until they have a name for the cable or a website or a map. Click here to view the latest version.