Google’s Equiano subsea cable will connect Cape Town to Lisbon by 2021

google cloud subsea cable cape town lisbon equiano

Google on Friday announced its plans to sink a subsea fibre optic internet cable between Europe and Africa.

Dubbed Equiano, after a Nigerian writer and abolishionist, the cable is the company’s 14th investment in the technology and third wholly-funded subsea cable following Dunant (which will be operational in 2020) and Curie (which went into operation this year).

“Once complete, Equiano will start in western Europe and run along the West Coast of Africa, between Portugal and South Africa, with branching units along the way that can be used to extend connectivity to additional African countries,” Google explained.

google equiano cable cape town lisbon

The cables will land in Lisbon, Portugal and extend to Cape Town, South Africa, with nine branching units seemingly planned. An initial branching unit will land in Lagos, Nigeria.

Google notes that Equiano will hosts “approximately 20 times more network capacity than the last cable” connecting these two regions.

Alcatel Submarine Networks has been contracted to lay the infrastructure.

It will also join a number of other cables that already land in Cape Town, including WACS and SAT-3 that connect South Africa with Europe, and SAFE, that stretches through to Malaysia beneath the Indian Ocean.

Equiano is set to be completed in 2021.

Feature image: A server room at one of Google Cloud’s data centres in 2012, by Google

Andy Walker
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