International Tech News

Google, Liquid Build New Cable To Connect SA, Australia


Google in collaboration with Liquid lntelligent Technologies is building a new submarine cable that will connect Africa and Australia.

The Umoja cable will join Equiano, which landed in SA in 2022, in an initiative called Africa Connect.

Internet search giant Google is building a new submarine cable that will connect Africa and Australia, Umoja joins other under-sea cables − such as Seacom, ACE, SAT-3, 2Africa, Equiano, WACS, SAFE and EASSy − that connect South Africa to the rest of the world.

Anchored in Kenya, the Umoja cable route will pass through Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, including the Google Cloud region, before crossing the Indian Ocean to Australia, says Google in a statement.

It notes Umoja’s terrestrial path was built in collaboration with Liquid Intelligent Technologies, to form a highly-scalable route through Africa, including access points that will allow other countries to take advantage of the network.

Umoja joins Equiano in an initiative called Africa Connect, Google says, adding the new cable will enable African countries to more reliably connect with each other and the rest of the world.

On Umoja, Google says establishing a new route distinct from existing connectivity routes is critical to maintaining a resilient network for a region that has historically experienced high-impact outages.

The announcement comes as several subsea cables linking Africa experienced outages that impacted internet connectivity in Africa.

“The new intercontinental fibre-optic route will significantly enhance our global and regional digital infrastructure. This initiative is crucial in ensuring the redundancy and resilience of our region’s connectivity to the rest of the world, especially in light of recent disruptions caused by cuts to subsea cables.

“By strengthening our digital backbone, we are not only improving reliability, but also paving the way for increased digital inclusion, innovation and economic opportunities for our people and businesses.”

“Diversifying Australia’s connectivity and supporting digital inclusion across the globe are both incredibly important objectives, and Google’s Umoja cable will help to do just that,” notes Michelle Rowland, Australian minister for communications.

“Australia welcomes Google’s investment and congratulates all those involved in undertaking this crucial initiative.”

“Africa’s major cities − including Nairobi, Kampala, Kigali, Lubumbashi, Lusaka and Harare − will no longer be hard-to-reach endpoints remote from the coastal landing sites that connect Africa to the world,” says Strive Masiyiwa, chairman and founder of Liquid.

“They are now stations on a data
superhighway that can carry thousands of times more traffic than currently reaches here. I am proud that this project helps us deliver a digitally-connected future that leaves no African behind, regardless of how far they are from the technology centres of the world.”

Tari Mudahondo

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