Facebook set to install internet cable to bring superfast to Africa
In a bid to bring superfast broadband to 16 countries in Africa, Facebook is teaming up with telecom infrastructure companies to lay a 23,000-mile cable under the sea. Its length, which is almost that of the circumference of the Earth, will make it one of the longest cables of its kind in the world. It will provide three times the current capacity of existing cables to the continent and while it is of course intended to bring Facebook to the African masses, it is likely to have significant and long-lasting effects on the overall connectivity and globalisation of the continent.
Africa currently lags behind the rest of the world in terms of internet accessibility, with just four in ten people having personal access to the web. The global average is six in ten so the new cable poses an instantaneous uplift in connectivity.
While businesses may have little interest in the growth of Facebook, it provides significantly increased opportunities for global export and international recruitment as well. Opening a potentially huge growth in import and export, the continent of Africa also has a population of 1.3 billion, providing huge recruitment opportunities for those in a position to employ digital workers. It is also anticipated that there will be a book in digital businesses, both from entrepreneurs in Africa and those seeking to add regional offices to the continent.
The project is being delivered in partnership with Nokia Oyj's Alcatel Submarine Networks, MTN Group, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and Orange SA.