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Facebook’s Undersea Cable, 2Africa Set to Be Longest Ever Upon Completion

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.

Currently, the longest subsea cable system spans 39 km connecting 33 countries across South East Asia, Middle East and Western Europe.
The laying of the cable is in line with Facebook’s primary objective to bring increased connectivity to Africa.
In a blog post, the company noted that the continent is ‘the least connected in the world’ with just over a quarter of the population having access to internet connection.

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.

Read also: Google Launches Initiative To Equip Women With Digital Skills

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.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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