Facebook and a group of telecommunications companies are working to build an undersea cable that offers the Internet on the African continent and the Middle East region.
It is a project in which they are investing, in addition to Facebook, China Mobile International, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange and Vodafone, with the aim of achieving that more than a billion people who are not yet connected to the Internet may be in the future next.
The project has the name: 2Africa, and will consist of 37,000 km of cable to connect Europe with Africa through Egypt and Saudi Arabia, reaching 16 countries in Africa.
They believe that everything will be ready in 2023 or early 2024, when more than the total combined capacity of all submarine cables serving Africa can be delivered today (up to 180Tbps in key parts of the system).
In addition to the end user, service providers will also benefit.
None of the project members have reported the cost of the project, but from Facebook they have indicated that 2Africa is an important element of their continued investment in Africa, to attract more people online to a faster Internet. Clearly, the undersea cable would also help Facebook and others reduce their bandwidth costs.
It's important to remember that between Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon they now own or rent almost half of the underwater bandwidth, according to research firm TeleGeography. Only Google has 14 cables worldwide, so it is clear who currently owns the Internet.