July 08, 2019: Google is building a new private subsea cable known as - 'Equiano' that will connect Africa with Europe. The new Google subsea cable to Africa will start from Western Europe and run along the West Coast of Africa, between Portugal and South Africa, with branching units along the way that can be used to extend connectivity to additional African countries.

Fully funded by Google, it will be able to expedite the construction timeline and optimise the number of negotiating parties. A contract to build the cable with Alcatel Submarine Network was signed in Q4 2018, and the first phase of the project, connecting South Africa with Portugal, is expected to be completed in 2021.The first branch is expected to land in Nigeria.

The Google subsea cable to Africa is named after Olaudah Equiano, a Nigerian-born writer, who was kidnapped as an 11-year-old and sold into slavery in the 1750s. From the US, he was sold to a ship's captain and ended up in London where he became part of the British abolition movement.

Google stated that the cable will have 20 times more network capacity than the last cable built to serve this region. It will be the first subsea cable to use optical switching at the fiber-pair level, rather than the traditional approach of wavelength-level switching. "This greatly simplifies the allocation of cable capacity, giving us the flexibility to add and reallocate it in different locations as needed."

Between 2016 and 2018, Google invested $47 billion in capex, which includes investment in improving our global infrastructure. Equiano will further, enhance the world's highest capacity and best-connected international network. "We're excited to bring Equiano online, and look forward to working with licensed partners to bring Equiano's capacity to even more countries across the African continent, in addition to existing cables such as the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) the first direct subsea cable link between Africa and South America," Google states.

Read Full Article