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Google, WIOCC Unveil Open Access Subsea Cable in Nigeria

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Google, in collaboration with its cable landing partner, WIOCC, yesterday in Lagos, celebrated the landing of Equiano subsea internet broadband cable, in Lekki, Lagos, which is the first open access subsea cable to berth in Nigeria.

The Equiano subsea cable, which has a capacity that is 20 times larger than any other cable currently serving the African region, would have a direct impact on connectivity, resulting in faster internet speed, reduced internet prices and improved user experience in Nigeria.

The state-of-the-art Equiano subsea cable, was designed to become a critical element in meeting Nigeria’s current and future international connectivity demands.

The Equiano cable, which has its route from Portugal in western Europe, would run more than 12,000km along the West Coast of Africa and initially land in Lomé, Togo; Lagos, Nigeria; Swakopmund, Namibia; Rupert’s Bay, Saint Helena and Melkbosstrand, South Africa.

It is expected to establish a valuable new high-capacity connection between the African continent and Europe.

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

According to Google, the open access subsea cable, when fully operational in September, this year, would create 1.6 million jobs by 2025; increase internet speeds by a factor of six; reduce internet retail prices by 21 per cent; increase internet penetration by six percentage points; boost GDP by $10.1 billion by 2025; and save 2.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per annum.

Speaking on the landing of the subsea cable, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, welcomed Equiano subsea cable to Lagos and thanked Google and WIOCC for investing in Equiano and for berthing the internet broadband cable in Lagos, which he said, would create more job opportunities and technology innovation in Lagos and Nigeria.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, who was represented by the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Adeleke Adewolu, also welcomed Equiano to Nigria and assured the company of government support. Pantami therefore encouraged other investors to invest in Nigeria’s broadband initiative, that is driven by the National Broadband Plan.

Also, The Director, West Africa at Google, Juliet Ehimuan, while speaking 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 have 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.” Also, the Chief Executive Officer of WIOCC, Chris Wood, said: “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 Lagos data centre. From there it will be extended to other data centres across Lagos.

“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.”

Last month, the Equiano subsea cable made its first landing in Africa in Lomé, Togo, as a confirmation of the commitment made at the Google for Africa 2021 event to help increase internet access across Africa.

Culled from THISDAY

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