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DRC fibre network to connect East and West Africa over land

Plans for a DRC fibre network are in the offing. The country is set to have a metro fibre network that will connect East and West Africa by land. Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Facebook announced the partnership for the project development.

Nic Rudnick, Group CEO of Liquid Intelligent Technologies explained the project plans include construction of a 2,000 kilometre metro fibre network. This will create a digital corridor from the Atlantic Ocean through the Congolese rainforest to East Africa and the Indian Ocean.

The DRC fibre network will connect the Democratic Republic of Congo with neighboring countries such as Angola, Congo, Brazzaville, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. It will extend from the center of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the eastern border with Rwanda. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the last broadband border between East Africa, Central Africa and West Africa.

Also Read:Congo-Cameroon fiber optic interconnection project almost complete

Risky undertaking

Liquid Technologies will own, build and operate the DRC fibre network as well as provide wholesale services to mobile network operators and internet service providers. Facebook will come in as the investor offering network planning support. The project upon completion is projected to connect more than 30 million people to the internet.

Both Facebook and Liquid Tech have noted that it is a risky undertaking, given the high levels of insecurity in the country but also crucial to the extension of broadband access where demand for internet is growing.

“This is one of the most challenging projects ever undertaken, crossing more than 2,000 kilometres of some of the most difficult terrains in the world,” said Nic Rudnick, Group CEO of Liquid Intelligent Technologies.

Meanwhile the report comes at a time Tanzania’s ministry of Communication, Science and Technology is finalising a feasibility study to extend its fibre broadband backbone to the DRC via Lake Tanganyika. Tanzania’s aim is to have a complete inter-regional digital communication network.

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Dennis Ayemba
Country/ Features Editor, Kenya

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