The 2Africa cable by Facebook will extend 45,000 kilometres after the addition of nine landings dubbed the 2Africa Pearls. This will make the subsea cable the longest cable system in the world, connecting three continents: Africa, Asia and Europe.
The subsea cable was initially to connect 23 African countries in Africa, including Kenya. However, Facebook added Seychelles, the Comoros Islands, Angola making it 26 countries in total. A landing to the South-eastern part of Nigeria has also been added to the extension connecting the Canary islands.
The expanded system is expected to connect an additional 1.8 billion people, to make 3 billion in total in 33 countries representing 36 percent of the world’s population.
Previously, Facebook had plans to beam internet to rural communities using solar-powered drones called Aquila but halted the project in 2018.
Facebook has collaborated with a group of telecom companies including MTN, China Mobile International, Orange, Vodafone and Global Connect.
The task has been assigned to Nokia-owned cable systems provider, Alcatel Submarine Networks with building the underwater cable.