Facebook has announced a new segment of subsea cable called 2Africa Pearls, which connects three continents – Africa, Europe, and Asia. This extension will bring the total length of the 2Africa cable system to more than 45,000 km, making it the longest subsea cable system ever deployed.
As its name suggests, the 2Africa initiative’s goal is to provide internet connectivity to people in Africa, which is currently the world’s least connected continent.
The 2Africa subsea cable system will provide nearly three times the total network capacity of all the subsea cables serving Africa today. With 2Africa, the social media giant had planned to increase connectivity to 1.2 billion people.
“We continue to invest in subsea cables in Africa and beyond as communities and businesses flourish when there is widely-accessible internet. Facebook is continuing to build innovative solutions such as these critical fiber optic superhighways so that everyone can benefit from the economic, educational, and social advantages of a digitally connected world,” the company said in a statement.
With the addition of Pearls, the system will provide connectivity to an additional 1.8 billion people, totaling 3 billion people, or about 36 percent of the global population.
The 2Africa Pearls branch adds several new landing locations in Oman, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan, India, and Saudi Arabia. In its entirety, 2Africa will significantly increase connectivity within Africa and better connect Africa to the rest of the world, as it will ultimately interconnect 33 countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.