Liquid Technologies Africa’s largest fibre company has partnered with Facebook to build an extensive long haul and metro fibre network in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The metro fibre network is expected to improve internet access for more than 30 million people and help meet the growing demand for regional connectivity across Central Africa.
Facebook will invest in the fibre build and support network planning, while Liquid Technologies will own, build and operate the fibre network as well as delivering wholesale services to mobile network operators and internet service providers
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 on the digital corridor for more than two years, which now reaches Central DRC. This corridor will connect DRC to its neighbouring countries including Angola, Congo Brazzaville, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
The new build will stretch from Central DRC to the Eastern border with Rwanda and extend the reach of 2Africa, a major undersea cable that has also been co-developed by Facebook, and better connect Africa to the Middle East and Europe.
The project will employ more than 5,000 people from local communities to build the fibre network.
“This is one of the most difficult fiber builds ever undertaken, crossing more than 2,000 kilometers of some of the most challenging terrain in the world. 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,” said Nic Rudnick, Group CEO of Liquid Intelligent Technologies.
Facebook has been striving to improve connectivity in Africa to take advantage of a young population and the increasing availability and affordability of smartphones. The social media giant switched to a predominantly fibre strategy following the failed launch of a satellite to beam Internet access to the continent in 2016.