Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT) and Facebook have partnered to build a fibre network in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to help connect East and West Africa.
The project will see Facebook invest in the fibre build and support network planning, while LIT will own, build and operate the fibre network, as well as provide wholesale services to mobile network operators and Internet service providers.
The network, expected to enable improved Internet access for more than 30-million across Central Africa, 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, over the last two years, worked on building out the digital corridor to reach Central DRC and connect the DRC to neighbouring countries 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 undersea cable 2Africa, which will land along both the East and West African coasts and better connect Africa to the Middle East and Europe.
Further, 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 km of some of the most challenging terrain in the world,” said LIT group CEO Nic Rudnick.
“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.”
“We know that deploying fibre in this region is not easy, but it is a crucial part of extending broadband access to underconnected 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,” concluded Facebook Emerging Markets network investments director Ibrahima Ba.