Facebook and Liquid Intelligent Technologies, a pan-African digital infrastructure provider, today announced a partnership to build a 1.4k route mile (2.2k route kilometer) long-haul and metro fiber network in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in Africa.

Fiber Network – Overview

Facebook and Liquid Technologies’ fiber network will help connect West and East Africa by land. Specifically, this network will support the creation of a corridor from the Atlantic Ocean (West Africa) through the Congo Rainforest to East Africa, and onto the Indian Ocean.

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Map Africa

In so doing, this corridor will connect the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to its neighboring countries. Specifically, these countries include Angola, Congo Brazzaville, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

Importantly, Facebook and Liquid Technologies’ fiber network will complete a missing link between West and East Africa. As a result, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) will become a connection hub for neighboring landlocked countries, including Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia. Indeed, these landlocked countries do not have direct access to international subsea cables, which land on Africa’s coasts.

2Africa Subsea Cable

Facebook and Liquid Intelligent Technologies’ terrestrial fiber network will connect the Central part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to its Eastern border with Rwanda. In turn, this fiber network will extend the reach of 2Africa, a major subsea cable, that will land along both Africa’s West and East coasts. As a result, Africa will be better connected to the Middle East and Europe.

Fiber Network – Rationale

Facebook and Liquid Intelligent Technologies are building this fiber network to improve internet access for 30+ million people and support the growing demand for regional connectivity across Central Africa. Indeed, this fiber network will provide affordable broadband access to under-connected areas across the region. Inherently, fiber infrastructure will also improve the reliability and speed of Internet access for these 30 million people.

Together with 2Africa, this fiber network for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) will promote open access infrastructure sharing.

Investors – Facebook and Liquid Intelligent Technologies

Facebook

Facebook will invest in the long-haul and metro fiber build and support network planning. Indeed, this investment closely follows Facebook’s completion of the first privately held long-haul fiber route in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This network spanned from Muanda (a cable landing station) to Matadi (~75 miles inland). Facebook completed this prior fiber build in partnership with Airtel and Vodacom.

Alongside its partners, Facebook has invested in 6.2k route miles (10.0k route kilometers) of terrestrial fiber around the world. Also, Facebook has participated in the 2Africa subsea cable build, which spans 23.0k miles (37.0k kilometers).

Liquid Intelligent Technologies

Liquid Technologies will own, build, and operate the fiber network. In turn, the company will provide wholesale services to wireless carriers and internet service providers (ISPs). Notably, the company is present in more than 20 countries across Africa.

Jonathan Kim covers Fiber for Dgtl Infra, including Zayo Group (private), Cogent Communications (NASDAQ: CCOI), Uniti Group (NASDAQ: UNIT), and Lumen Technologies (NYSE: LUMN). Within Fiber, Jonathan focuses on the sub-sectors of wholesale / dark fiber, enterprise fiber, fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), and subsea cables.

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