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Google underwater internet cable to connect Africa and Europe starts in Togo instead of Nigeria

Google Equiano underwater internet cable, aimed at connecting Europe and Africa, lands in Togo instead of Nigeria as planned.

The company’s 2019 statement had mentioned that the first branch of cables ‘is expected to land in Nigeria.’ However, considering the country’s proximity to Togo, it does not seem like Google is overhauling its plan.

The search engine giant had previously run about 13 subsea cables worldwide and successfully connected two previous international cables; Dunant (connecting Virginia Beach, US, to the French Atlantic coast) and Curie (connecting Chile to Los Angeles).

Like all the other Google undersea cables, Equiano is also named after a historical figure – Nigerian-born Olaudah Equiano. It will provide approximately 20 times more network capacity than the last undersea cable that was done.

The cable is also unique in that it will be the first undersea cable to use optical switching at the fiber-pair level rather than the usual approach of wavelength-level switching.

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Alcatel Submarine Networks is handling the contract for Google, and its first part was supposed to have finished in 2021. However, the pandemic lockdown restrictions forced the project into the shadows. Now, it is kinking off with full force.

“As 300 million people come online in Africa over the next five years, the Equiano cable is part of our ongoing commitment to Africa, expanding opportunity and improving connectivity in order to help bring the benefits of technology to more Africans,” Google’s statement read.

Predictions claim that the average internet speed is about 10 Mbps which will increase to 21 Mbps. The project itself will provide an estimated 37,000 new jobs, and Google says that by the end of the year, the Equiano service should be ready.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.