Reliable and faster internet across Africa seems like a dream for most users in the continent but it looks like there is hope for us yet. Facebook Inc. and big-time telecom carriers like China Mobile Ltd. are joining forces to build a giant sub-sea cable around Africa in an effort to bring more inhabitants online
Faster Internet For Africa
According to CNBC, the social media company has partnered with the likes of China Mobile, South Africa’s MTN, France’s Orange and Britain’s Vodafone. Internet users across more than a dozen sub-Saharan African nations have been experiencing slow service. This is due to two undersea cables that were damaged.
The cost of the project will be just under KES 100 billion, according to Bloomberg. The 37,000-kilometer (23,000 miles) long cable — dubbed 2Africa — will connect Europe to the Middle East and 16 African countries, according to a statement on Thursday. At that length, the cable will be nearly equal to the circumference of the Earth.
2Africa is likely to start operation by 2024. According to the statement, it will deliver more than the combined capacity of all sub-sea cables serving Africa.
Alcatel Submarine Networks has been granted the task to build the subsea cable. It’s not yet clear how much funding Facebook and its partners have put behind the project.
This is not Facebook’s first rodeo in the race to improve connectivity in Africa. The social-media giant attempted to launch a satellite in 2016 to beam signal around the continent. However, the SpaceX rocket carrying the technology blew up on the launchpad.