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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Google Equiano Sub-sea Cable Network Finally Lands in Lagos, Nigeria

Google and cable landing partner WIOCC have announced the successful landing of the state-of-the-art Equiano sub-sea cable network in Lagos to support Nigeria’s National Digital Economy Policy, Strategy for a Digital Nigeria.

Google has made many efforts to increase internet access across Africa, and one of the most significant works is the Equiano subsea cable. 

The Equiano cable provides new opportunities for Africans to stay connected with the rest of the world. The cable connects two continents: Europe and Africa.

Juliet Ehimuan, Director of West Africa at Google, commenting on the landing of Equiano in Nigeria, said: “Google is committed to supporting Africa’s digital transformation, and we are excited to see the impact of the landing of Equiano in Nigeria. We’ve worked with established partners and in-country experts to guarantee Equiano’s greatest potential effect in Nigeria and Africa.”

This partnership with the state-owned Nigerian Telecommunications Company (NITC) will be funded by Google’s parent company Alphabet. The project is estimated to cost $300 million and will increase internet speeds in Nigeria and reduce the cost of data plans.

The project will also create 1.6 million jobs in Nigeria, which will be an astronomical increase to Nigeria’s sparse job market.

The Equiano cable is a Google submarine internet cable that has just been completed and is currently being installed by the Nigerian telecom company. The cable will link Lagos to Europe and provide Nigeria with faster and more reliable internet.

Chris Wood, Chief Executive Officer of WIOCC, stated: “We are proud to have been selected by Google as the landing partner for the Equiano cable in Nigeria, landing the cable directly into the OADC Lagos data centre. From there, it will be extended to other data centres across Lagos.”

Equiano was the first undersea fibre optic cable to serve Africa. 

“Nigeria is one of the most developed countries in Africa with a population of over 186.2 million people, but less than 2% have access to high-speed internet.” 

The coming of Equiano will be a game changer since Internet traffic usage has recently increased, leading to the need for more cables. When a cable is terminated, it is the final point of arrival for internet data on the cable system. The termination point can be at an exchange point or a terminal.

In the past, The Nigerian Broadband Commission (NBC) introduced a list of broadband targets aimed at improving internet services’ availability and quality. The list includes:

  • Investment in fibre optic infrastructure.
  • Introduction of new technologies in the sector.
  • Increased access to electricity.
  • Fostering competition among internet service providers (ISPs).
  • Improving rural broadband access.

There are several undersea cable infrastructures that all terminate in Lagos, which include: Main One, Glo, West African Cable System (WACS), South Atlantic 3/West Africa Submarine Cable (SAT-3/WASC), and ACE submarine cable system, among others.

All of the telecom as mentioned above providers have so far been unable to make a massive difference as Nigerian consumers aren’t able to access cheaper data rates because there are simply no carrier-neutral or ‘open access’ data centers available.

In Nigeria, for instance, there is competition between carriers concerning who provides the cheapest internet services. There need to be more data centers, though, where everyone can compete for carrier-neutral or open access to content.

African people are more connected than ever. The Equiano subsea cable landed in Lomé, Togo, last month, and it’s one of the many landing points across the continent. Google has committed to this project, meaning we are all one step closer to connecting Africa.

With a design capacity roughly 20 times larger than any other cable currently serving the region, the Equiano subsea internet cable will directly impact connectivity, resulting in faster internet speeds, reduced internet prices, and improved user experience in Nigeria.

The Equiano subsea internet submarine cable system has a design capacity roughly 20 times larger than any other cable currently serving the region. This internet connection will drastically increase how fast data can distribute in Nigeria.

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