HomeBusinessMeta’s Subsea Cable Project Faces Delay in Nigeria

Meta’s Subsea Cable Project Faces Delay in Nigeria

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Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, has missed its November target to land its 2Africa subsea cable in Nigeria, according to a report by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The 2Africa cable is one of the largest and most ambitious subsea projects in the world, spanning 45,000 kilometers and connecting 46 cable landing stations in 33 countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe. The cable is expected to go live in 2023/4 and deliver more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables currently serving Africa, with a design capacity of up to 180 terabytes per second.

The cable is funded by a consortium of companies, including several telcos and Meta, which aims to boost digital transformation across healthcare, education, and commerce for over 30% of the world’s population. The cable will also implement a new technology, SDM1, that allows for flexible management of bandwidth and increased cable burial depth for higher levels of availability.

Meta had planned to land the 2Africa cable simultaneously in Lagos and Akwa Ibom states in Nigeria, to enhance and diversify the country’s connectivity and provide more affordable access to the internet for millions of Nigerians. However, the NCC said in a press release that Meta did not meet the target and did not provide a new timeline for the project.

The NCC’s executive vice chairman, Aminu Maida, met with a delegation of Meta, led by Kojo Boakye, the company’s vice president for Africa, the Middle East, and Turkey, at the NCC headquarters in Abuja. Maida assured the delegation of the NCC’s support for investors who played by the rules and regulations guiding the sector and expressed his hope that the 2Africa cable would complement the existing backbone infrastructure in Nigeria.

Boakye informed Maida that the purpose of the visit was to congratulate him on his appointment by the president and to update him on the progress of the 2Africa cable project. He also solicited the NCC’s assistance in overcoming any legal and regulatory hurdles in landing the cable in Nigeria.

The delay in the 2Africa cable project comes at a time when Nigeria is striving to increase its broadband penetration and digital inclusion. According to the NCC, the country’s broadband penetration rose to 48% in January 2023, with 92 million subscriptions recorded. The country also launched its National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy in February 2023, which aims to foster a digital economy and create jobs for the youth.

The 2Africa cable project is expected to have a significant impact on Nigeria’s digital development, as well as on the rest of the continent. The cable will not only provide faster and more reliable internet access but also enable new opportunities for innovation, collaboration, and learning. Despite the setback, the project is still on track to achieve its vision of connecting Africa to the world and the world to Africa.

Source: BusinessDay

 

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