Facebook and its engineering counterpart is embarking on an ambitious project. Set to cost $1 billion USD according to Bloomberg, the tech company plans to build a massive 37,000-kilometre undersea cable around Africa, which equates to nearly the circumference of the globe. The effort is hoped to provide better connectivity and will interconnect 23 countries across Africa, the Middle East and Europe once complete.
With 1.3 billion residents, Facebook says Africa is one of the “least connected” regions in the world. “We are committed to bringing more people online to a faster internet — and with 3.5 billion people globally unconnected, there is still a lot to do,” said Facebook.
The company has partnered with a number of global network providers and has been dubbed ‘2Africa’ — including China Mobile, MTN of South Africa, France’s Orange and Britain’s Vodafone. According to the blogpost, Alcatel Submarine Networks, a Nokia entity, has been recruited to construct the physical cable and is designed to be buried three meters deeper than average in order to help prevent damage.
“When completed, this new route will deliver much-needed internet capacity, redundancy, and reliability across Africa; supplement a rapidly increasing demand for capacity in the Middle East; and support further growth of 4G, 5G, and broadband access for hundreds of millions of people,” the tech giant has also said.
The mammoth project will be the first subsea cable system to seamlessly connect East and West Africa across a single open system. Read the full report, here.