Fresh off its 100,000 km fibre milestone, Liquid Intelligent Technologies has announced that it has entered into a partnership with Facebook to build a fibre network in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The new network will help improve internet access for over 30 million people and aid in meeting the increasing demand for regional connectivity across Central Africa.
Facebook is coming into this as an investor and will support the network’s planning, while Liquid Technologies will build, own and operate the network. The former will also provide wholesale service to mobile network operators (MNOs) and ISPs (Internet Service Providers).
This new fibre network will create a corridor from the Atlantic Ocean through the Congo rainforest towards East Africa and then finally the Indian Ocean. This project is one that Liquid has been working on for some time. If you remember earlier this year, Strive Masiyiwa detailed just how much work it was to get through the very difficult terrain in Central Africa.
“It took more than 10 years from when we first arrived in Lubumbashi in the South, to finally get to Kinshasa. There were so many challenges. Getting from Lubumbashi to Kinshasa is a journey of more than 2 300 km, through the world’s second-largest rain forest.”Strive Masiyiwa via The Chronicle
Additionally, the new corridor will connect the DRC with its neighbouring countries including Angola, Congo Brazzaville, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
“This is one of the most difficult fibre builds ever undertaken, crossing more than 2,000 kilometres of some of the most challenging terrain in the world. Liquid Technologies and Facebook have a common mission to provide affordable infrastructure to bridge connectivity gaps, and we believe our work together will have a tremendous impact on internet accessibility across the region.”Nic Rudnick, Group CEO of Liquid Intelligent Technologies
The new build will stretch from Central DRC to the Eastern border with Rwanda and extend the reach of 2Africa, a major undersea cable that will land along both the East and West African coasts, and better connect Africa to the Middle East and Europe. Furthermore, Liquid will employ more than 5,000 people from local communities to build the fibre network.
“This fibre build with Liquid Technologies is one of the most exciting projects we have worked on. We know that deploying fibre in this region is not easy, but it is a crucial part of extending broadband access to under-connected areas. We look forward to seeing how our fibre build will help increase the availability and improve the affordability of high-quality internet in DRC.”Ibrahima Ba, Director of Network Investments, Emerging Markets at Facebook
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