from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA – AN extensive long-haul and metro fibre network in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is set to address the growing demand for connectivity mainly across Central Africa.
Some countries in East and Southern Africa will also be connected through the project, which is a partnership between Liquid Technologies and Facebook.
More than 30 million people in the DRC are to benefit.
The network will help create a digital corridor from the Atlantic Ocean through the Congo Rainforest, to East Africa, and onto the Indian Ocean.
Liquid Technologies has been working for more than two years on the corridor, which now reaches central DRC.
The corridor will connect DRC to its neighbouring countries including Angola, Congo Brazzaville, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
The new facility to stretch from central DRC to the eastern border with Rwanda will extend the reach of 2Africa, a major undersea cable that will land along both the East and West African coasts, and better connect Africa to the Middle East and Europe.
Liquid will employ more than 5 000 people from local communities to build the fibre network.
“This is one of the most difficult fibre builds ever undertaken, crossing more than 2, 000 kilometres of some of the most challenging terrain in the world,” said Nic Rudnick, Group Chief Executive Officer of Liquid Intelligent Technologies.
“Liquid Technologies and Facebook have a common mission to provide affordable infrastructure to bridge connectivity gaps, and we believe our work together will have a tremendous impact on internet accessibility across the region.”
Facebook will invest an undisclosed amount in the fibre build and support network planning.
“This fibre build with Liquid Technologies is one of the most exciting projects we have worked on,” said Ibrahima Ba, Director of Network Investments, Emerging Markets at Facebook.
Ba is hopeful that deploying fibre is demanding but it is a crucial part of extending broadband access to under-connected areas.
“We look forward to seeing how our fibre build will help increase the availability and improve the affordability of high-quality internet in DRC,” the executive said.
– CAJ News