Internet, 37 thousand kilometers of submarine cable to connect Africa: the digital big names’ project by 2024

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A pharaonic project: it is the one launched by the giants of the digital to improve the connectivity of African countries. Let’s talk about 2Africa, a submarine cable 37 thousand kilometers long, which will start from Great Britain and, by touching the Portugal, will then circumnavigate theAfrica, connecting 23 countries, including 16 African and two Middle Eastern ones. One of the largest underwater infrastructures in the world.

At the request of the work, a consortium of eight giants: in the first place Facebook, China Mobile International and the French Orange, which are flanked by South African MTN GlobalConnect, STC (Saudi Telecom Company), Telecom egypt, the British Vodafone and WIOCC (West Indian Ocean Cable Company). He will think about the technical realization of the gigantic project Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), company owned by Nokia. Estimated time for the conclusion of the works: 2023 or 2024.

2Africa it will be one of the longest cables in the world and will connect Europe, Africa e Middle East, traveling along the Atlantic, Indian, Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. In addition to coastal African countries, it will also touch Oman is Saudi Arabia, to finally join theEgypt to Italy, in the final part of the circumnavigation.

In the continent with the highest growth rate of internet users in the world, the need to fill the digital divide and to provide adequate infrastructure broadband and networks 4G is 5G will be achieved through the use of new technology Sdm1, with implementation of up to a maximum of 16 pairs of optical fibers against the 8 supported by older technologies, with greater capacity and lower service costs. Compared to older systems, it will also be increased by 50% depth cables, to limit the environmental impact and increase the stability of the line. According to the consortium members, the project will provide new continent IT skills to the continent “fairly and fairly”, contributing to a “healthy internet ecosystem”.

However, according to Qemal Affagnon NGO Internet without frontiers, the stated objectives would not correspond to the real needs: the existing underwater optical fiber would in fact be underutilized, so much so that for theAfrica western Affagnon it even talks about 20% of the traffic capacity used. So African countries already today “do not benefit from the advantages that these installations should provide”. Not only that: “There are some worries on guarantees regarding the data passing through. Why today these cables belong to companies private and all the activity that is developing risks, in the end, to bring greater benefits to interests private, while the populations to whom these installations should offer advantages remain constantly in the inability to access content online and sometimes even of download documents“.

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