Region’s fibre connectivity increases by 100,000km as operator expands
• 643 towns, cities to experience Internet services
Fibre connectivity in Africa increased by 100,000km following fresh investment in the region by Liquid Intelligent Technologies.
This new connectivity will help connect 643 towns and cities across the region, including Nigeria.
Liquid Intelligent Chief Executive Officer, Nick Rudnick, on Wednesday, explained that the company, which is part of a larger digital ecosystem that includes data centers run by Strive Masiyiwa under different companies, has also been foraying into cloud computing and cyber security. He said this ecosystem will now benefit from the diverse Pan-African fibre network.
“One fibre network across Africa has now reached 100 000 kilometres and our network extends to most of the African continent,” said Rudnick.
He said countries including Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia have been connected, adding that others in east, west and north Africa have also been connected to the Liquid network, which the company now describes as the biggest privately-run network on the continent.
More recently, the company has laid out fibre cables in the Democratic Republic of Congo and according to Rudnick, has connected additional three million people in the DRC to its data network.
“This network rollout has enabled us to introduce cloud services and the introduction of cloud services across Africa is now possible because of reduced latency,” added Rudnick.
The firm explained that despite progress in ensuring connectivity, the cost of accessing the Internet means the continent is still lagging behind. It stressed that only about 40 per cent of Africans are connected to the Internet.
Rudnick said robust connectivity will boost economic development, stressing that with Fintech and digitalisation taking root across Africa, and innovators also stepping up to offer solutions, cloud computing and Internet access are considered key backbones.
“Increasing Internet access will boost jobs in Africa as most cities in most of the continent do not have access to reliable affordable internet. Connectivity is one of the biggest accelerators for economic development and this has been our ambition in building a 100 000-kilometre fibre network across Africa,” he stated.
Rudnick said knowing that connectivity is vital for Africa’s economic growth, the extended penetration will also enable small businesses, enterprises, and government entities to increase their competitiveness through the many digital solutions catering to their individual needs.
Rudnick said: “The Internet offers unprecedented opportunities for economic growth in developing countries. By providing access to information, connecting people to businesses everywhere, and opening up new markets, the Internet can act as an enabler of economic activity and an engine for information sharing. Economic development is not about choosing between access to the internet and basic necessities, they need to work together to allow societies to flourish.”
Liquid referenced Deloitte, which estimated that by extending Internet penetration, another 640 million children may access the Internet and the wealth of information it makes available while they study.
Deloitte pointed out that the Internet plays a pivotal role in extending access to educational resources and accelerating knowledge sharing among students and teachers. It added that it improves the quality of offline education, resulting in better school performance with online learning resources.
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