Massive cable project set to give Africa internet boost

Massive cable project set to give Africa internet boost”

Facebook has partnered with African and global partners to build a subsea cable to serve not just Africa but the Middle East as well called 2Africa.

Its length - nearly equal to the circumference of the Earth - will make it one of the longest, it said.

The project will construct a mammoth 22,990 mile-long undersea cable around Africa, which the statement said "will greatly enhance connectivity across Africa and the Middle East".

It is the world's first cable created to serve the whole of Africa, and will deliver more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables serving the continent at the moment.

In all, it will include 21 "landings" in 16 African countries, and the consortium says that service providers in those countries "will obtain capacity in carrier-neutral data centres or open-access cable landing stations on a fair and equitable basis". They can handle much more data and offer faster transmission at a lower cost compared with other methods.

Sub-sea cables carry the vast majority of the world's inter-continental data. Nokia Oyj's Alcatel Submarine Networks has been appointed to build the cable.

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"This will support healthy internet ecosystem development, enabling needed accessibility whilst supporting the growth of 4G, 5G, and fixed broadband access for hundreds of millions of people", said the group.

This is not Facebook's first rodeo in the race to improve connectivity in Africa.

It will be buried deeper than previous systems for greater protection against external damage from things such as ships' anchors.

The 2Africa cable will be one of the longest in the world, trailing Sea-Me-We 3, which is 39,000 kilometers long and connects 33 countries, according to Submarine Cable Networks.

This is a project that is a collaboration between Facebook, China Mobile, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC.

Vodafone said it would pave the way for developing digital businesses on the continent.

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