Facebook in collaboration with 2Africa, a consortium of internet service companies has announced the addition of four new branches to its most comprehensive subsea cable network. This addition will extend connectivity to Seychelles, the Comoros Islands, Angola and will include introducing a new landing to southeast Nigeria.
The announcement follows a recent addition of an extension to the Canary Islands.
Last year, Facebook announced the 2Africa project would lay 37,000 km (22,990 miles) of cables. These cables interconnect Europe, via Egypt, and the Middle East, via Saudi Arabia, and 21 landings in 16 African countries.
2Africa, which will be the largest subsea cable project in the world, will deliver faster, more reliable internet service to each country where it lands. The consortium comprises China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, STC, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone, and WIOCC.
Since its launch in May 2020, the 2Africa consortium has made considerable progress in planning and preparing for the deployment of the cable, which is expected to ‘go live in late 2023.
Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) has been selected to deploy the new branches, which will increase the number of 2Africa landings to 35 in 26 countries, further improving connectivity into and around Africa.
What they are saying
A Facebook spokesperson said, “The significant investment by Facebook in 2Africa builds on several other investments we have made in the continent, including infrastructure investments in South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, and DRC. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of connectivity as billions of people around the world rely on the internet to work, attend school and stay connected to the people they care about.
“2Africa will not only be an important element for advancing connectivity infrastructure across the African continent, but it will also be a major investment that comes at a critical time for economic recovery. With more and more people relying on the internet, subsea cables are a vital ingredient to ensure they always are connected to what matters. While Facebook invests in submarine cables to provide better experiences for people using our products, our investments drive a more cost-effective internet for all.”