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Facebook is Building a $1 Billion Cable Undersea Cable to Boost Internet Access in Africa

Kenya is set to benefit from faster internet from a giant sub-sea Sh106 billion internet cable that Facebook Inc. and some of the world’s largest telecom carriers including China Mobile International, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, and Vodafone are joining forces to build.

The cost of the project will be just under $1 billion, according to sources. The cable will be 37,000Km long and is dubbed “2Africa” and will interconnect Europe (eastward via Egypt), the Middle East (via Saudi Arabia), and 21 landings in 16 countries in Africa including Kenya

[Image|techcrunch]

The undersea cable sector is experiencing a resurgence. During the 1990s dot-com boom, phone companies spent more than $20 billion laying fiber-optic lines under the oceans. Now tech giants, led by Facebook and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, are behind about 80% of the recent investment in transatlantic cable, driven by demand for fast-data transfers used for streaming movies to social messaging.

Facebook has long tried to lead the race to improve connectivity in Africa in a bid to take advantage of a young population, greater connectivity, and the increasing availability and affordability of smartphones. The U.S. social-media giant attempted to launch a satellite in 2016 to beam signal around the continent, but the SpaceX rocket carrying the technology blew up on the launchpad.

Google announced its own sub-sea cable connecting Europe to Africa last year, using a route down the west coast.

2Africa is expected to be live by 2023 or early 2024 and will deliver more than the combined capacity of all sub-sea cables serving Africa, according to the statement. The announcement comes after internet users across more than a dozen sub-Saharan African nations experienced slow service in January after two undersea cables were damaged.

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Nigel Jr.
As a tech enthusiast and expert, Nigel Jr. is dedicated to providing in-depth and insightful content on all things technology. With a background in online journalism, product reviewing, and tech creation, Nigel has become a trusted source for all things tech.

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