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Google announced yesterday that it will be building the first private undersea cable between Europe and South Africa which connects Nigeria. Its third privately owned cable overall. The cable will be built by Alcatel Submarine Networks, and the first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

The Mountain View tech giant has named the undersea cable “Equiano” after a Nigerian writer and abolitionist, Olaudah Equiano, and according to Google, it will be the first subsea cable to use optical switching at the fiber level which makes it easier to adjust capacity on the fly.

Talking about Equiano, the search giant also claimed that this new cable will be able to carry about 20 times the capacity of the last cable that was built for the region. Moreover, the cable will feature a number of branching points along its route that can be used to connect other countries to Equiano in the future.

Google already has plans to connect the cable to Lagos, Nigeria, and other countries will follow in the future.

Google’s Equiano subsea cable will run from Portugal to South Africa, with an additional touchpoint in Nigeria

Other than Equiano, Google has two other privately owned cables already — ‘Dunant’ between Europe and the US, and ‘Curie’ between the US and Chile.

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