The Equiano undersea cable arrived in Lomé, Togo, in March 2022, confirming the commitment made at the Google for Africa 2021 event to help boost internet access across Africa.
In Nigeria, mobile data and Wifi are about to become more affordable. Equiano will serve as the country’s national broadband backbone, extending internet services from the undersea cable to various parts of the country.
Equiano is Google’s 14th broadband subsea cable project, but it is the first dedicated to internet access in Africa. It will also have a significant influence on connectivity by improving internet speeds by a factor of six, lowering internet retail prices by 21%, and increasing internet penetration by 6%.
Olaudah Equiano, a Nigerian-born author and abolitionist, was honored with the Equiano cable. The cable began in Portugal and traveled over 12,000 kilometers over Africa’s west coast, landing first in Lomé, Togo, and then in Lagos, Nigeria.
When the country’s first phase of capacity expansion begins, it will improve GDP by USD 10.1 billion and create 1.6 million jobs by 2025.
In response to Equiano’s arrival in Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan, Director, West Africa at Google, 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 that Equiano has the greatest potential effect in Nigeria and throughout Africa.”
“Equiano is set to make an enduring contribution towards the development of Nigeria’s communications infrastructure and today marks another major step in its development. We look forward to honouring our commitment to be part of Africa’s digital transformation,” she added.
WIOCC’s Chief Executive Officer, Chris Wood, 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.”
He noted that, “The Equiano cable will deliver improved internet quality, speeds and affordability to the people of Nigeria. However, for the benefits to be fully felt throughout Nigeria, hyperscale connectivity needs to be extended from the Lagos area to the rest of the country. To make this happen, WIOCC is also deploying a comprehensive, hyperscale national fibre network. The network will go live in phases, starting in June and continuing through to the end of the year. When combined with the Equiano cable this network will deliver transformational benefits across the country.”
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