Google’s subsea cable Equiano lands in South Africa

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Equiano Cable Map
Equiano Cable Map

The Equiano subsea Internet cable was landed at Melkbosstrand north of Cape Town on Monday, the last stop on the route south for the 12-fibre-pair system that promises to drive down Internet costs in South Africa when it comes online in the coming months.

The Google-owned cable system, which connects South Africa with Portugal, and onward onto other submarine and terrestrial Internet systems, has a design capacity of 144Tbit/s, making it by far the highest-capacity Internet cable ever landed on African shores. It is the first cable to connect the remote Atlantic Ocean island of St Helena, and also has landing stations in Namibia and Nigeria.

African telecoms and data centre infrastructure company Wiocc confirmed Equiano’s landing at Melkbosstrand in a statement on Monday. Wiocc, which was created originally to be an investor in the Eassy system along Africa’s east coast, has access to its own fibre pair in Equiano.

The cable “will have a direct impact on connectivity throughout the Southern Africa region, resulting in faster Internet speeds, reduced Internet prices and improved user experience”, Wiocc said. The company is a key partner in Equiano, landing the cable in Lagos, Nigeria, and owning a full fibre pair on the system.

As a fibre pair owner, Wiocc’s Equiano capacity is upgradable fully under its own control, it explained. Wiocc owns and manages its own submarine line terminating equipment, choosing to light and upgrade its capacity exactly as it wishes.

Wiocc’s Equiano capacity will be extended into a new Open Access Data Centres (OADC) facility currently undergoing fit-out in Rondebosch, Cape Town, where clients can interconnect with terrestrial infrastructure providers, cloud networks, partners, suppliers and other ecosystem members, it added.

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