There’ been a lot of talk regarding the opportunities that are in Africa right now. With a population projected to continue growing and a significant lack of development, one can understand why there’s so much anticipation. Google and Facebook seem to be eyeing the continent as well, and their projects are internet related which might come as a relief to many.
Facebook is working on an underwater cable that will circle Africa and land on multiple coasts on the continent. The effort is dubbed by WSJ as an effort to drive down bandwidth costs which makes sense as the more people on the internet will probably translate to more money for Facebook. It isn’t clear when this project will be completed and whether Facebook will be partnering with local telecoms players in any way.
Google is also working on its own infrastructure project, dubbed Equiano. Its a private subsea cable that will connect South Africa and Portugal and the first phase of this project is scheduled to be completed in two years time (2021).
According to TechCrunch, Google stressed that this cable will be able to “carry about 20 times the capacity of the last cable that was built to serve this region.” The cable will connect to other countries with Lagos being the known region to get a connection with other territories to follow.
Cheaper access to internet is good news for both Google and Facebook which means these projects will be of significant priority for both companies. The impact on the region aren’t to clear yet as it isn’t really apparent which territories will and won’t get access to these fibre cables but overall this is probably a good development when you consider how access to the internet is prohibitively expensive in many African countries.
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