Google’s Equiano internet cable, first announced in 2019, has made landfall in its very first African country. Though the cable was supposed to first stop in Nigeria, the government of Togo was able to persuade the search giant to give them first dibs.
The cable forms part of Google’s plan to invest in Africa’s ‘digital transformation’. It follows a general trend of large tech companies investing in African internet infrastructure. The landing was handled by CSquared, a Uganda-based internet company that started life as a Google initiative. South Africa is represented here as well. Convergence Partners, a South African company, is one of CSquared’s shareholders.
600 Equiano-power under the hood
The Equiano cable will eventually end in Cape Town, South Africa. When it does, hopefully it has the same effect it has in Lomé in Togo. The cable will effectively double internet speeds in the country, according to Google.
Before it gets here, though, it’ll stop over in Nigeria, and then Namibia. There should still be bandwidth left over in the Portugal-originating cable by then. The tech giant is leaving various branching units in the cable, so other countries can be connected in the future.
The 150tbit/s cable is expected to turn up in Melkbosstrand in the Western Cape in June this year. It should, on arrival, have several effects. Internet speeds should pick up. Prices for faster internet access should also drop. And we should also know whether it’ll be delayed at all. A May landfall in Namibia is expected. If Equiano misses that target, then we might have to wait a little longer for speedier internet access to turn up.