Google lunches high speed internet cable in Nigeria

Google lunches high speed internet cable in Nigeria

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The cable (code named Equiano) is expected to increase internet speeds by a factor of six, reduce internet retail prices by 21 per cent, and increase internet penetration by six percentage points.

Google and cable landing partner, WIOCC, on Thursday announced the landing of its state-of-the-art Equiano subsea cable, expected to significantly impact Nigeria’s current and future international internet connectivity demands.

The Equiano cable is designed to start in Portugal in western Europe, run more than 12,000km along the West Coast of Africa and land in Lomé, Togo; Lagos, Nigeria; Swakopmund, Namibia; Rupert’s Bay, Saint Helena, and Melkbosstrand, South Africa.

It will establish a valuable new high-capacity internet connection between the African continent and Europe, Google said on Thursday.

Named after Nigerian-born writer and abolitionist, Olaudah Equiano, the Equiano cable will help support further digital transformation in Nigeria, a country that has produced five start-up unicorns (companies valued at more than $1 billion) in the past five years.

Significant Benefits
An impact assessment study by Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics stated that once the state-of-the-art, high-capacity Equiano cable becomes fully operational, anticipated later this year, it will accelerate Nigeria’s digital transformation.

In terms of connectivity, it is expected to increase internet speeds by a factor of six, reduce internet retail prices by 21 per cent, and increase internet penetration by six percentage points.

In terms of economic impact, the cable is projected to boost GDP by USD 10.1 billion by 2025. It is also projected to boost job creation by 1.6 million jobs by 2025. With regard to sustainability potentia, It is expected to also save 2.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum.

All of these developments would significantly impact Nigeria’s drive towards building a robust digital economy, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said in his remarks at the virtual launch of the cable in Lagos on Thursday.

Juliet Ehimuan, Director, 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 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.”

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.”

He added: “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”.

Source: Premium Times