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Google has announced the launch of Equiano, a subsea internet cable that is set to land in Lagos, Nigeria with its partner, the West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC).

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The announcement came after Equiano first landed In Togo. The cable is expected to span over 12,000km to the West Coast of Africa to land in Swakopmund, Namibia; Rupert’s Bay, Saint Helena, and Melkbosstrand, South Africa; establishing a new high-capacity connection between Africa and Europe. Per reports from both companies, the cable is slated to land today Friday, April 29, 2022. 

The Internet cable, named after Nigerian-born writer and abolitionist Olaudah Equiano, is expected to boost further digital transformation in Nigeria, a country with a thriving tech ecosystem. Equiano is expected to boost Nigeria’s GDP by $10.1 billion, increase internet speed by a factor of 6 and create 1.6 million indirect jobs by 2025, according to a recent impact assessment study by Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics. Equiano has a capacity of 144 terabits (18 Terabytes). Per the tech giant, it will be introducing 20 times more power and higher levels of durability than the last cable built to serve the West African region.

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Subsea Internet cables are one of the primary reasons we can seamlessly read articles online, stream content on YouTube and Netflix, and upload content to WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. As far back as 2003, this was so difficult although only a few people could afford phones and computers then. As more entrepreneurs increased their interest in Africa, technology began to improve especially in 2009, during the launch of the MainOne submarine cable, a private submarine cable that today spans Nigeria, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire. Later teleco companies like Glo and MTN launched their submarine cables in Nigeria. With increased Internet speeds, there was an explosion of technology-enabled businesses, which, in turn, led to increased funding and job creation.

In comparison to other developed countries, Internet speed in Nigeria is still substandard, especially the cost of purchasing data relative to the average income in Nigeria.

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This ultimately means that more needs to be done. Google claims that Equiano would bring 6x much faster Internet, leaving internet users above or below 112 Mbps(high internet speed) than the usual 18 Mbps(low internet speed). The cable will also increase the speed and efficiency of your financial transactions. Submarine cables have immense potential benefits, but suitable measures must be in place to leverage their capabilities.

This announcement is an achievement of Google’s plan to provide affordable internet access across Africa. By simply building global infrastructures to help bring faster internet. This will benefit more people and lower internet connectivity costs. Equiano is also part of the Google CEO’sannouncementto invest $1billion over 5 years to support digital transformation in Africa.

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This article was first published on 27th April 2022


I am an accomplished content creator and recently delved into technical writing. I enjoy using my skills to contribute to the exciting technological advances and create awareness of evolving technological trends in Nigeria.

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