Google Announces New Subsea Cable to Connect Africa and Europe: Equiano

Google on Friday announced a new subsea cable dubbed “Equiano” that will connect Africa with Europe – starting with South Africa and Portugal, as it boosts its cloud computing infrastructure.

FILE PHOTO: The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London, Britain January 18, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

Equiano, fully funded by Alphabet Inc’s Google, is the company’s third private international cable.

The search engine giant, which has invested $47 billion in improving its global technology infrastructure over the last three years, said Equiano is the company’s 14th subsea cable investment globally.

“Equiano will be the first subsea cable to incorporate optical switching at the fiber-pair level, rather than the traditional approach of wavelength-level switching,” Google said in a blog post (although tbh we’re not quite sure what that means!).


Google said a contract to build the cable with Alcatel Submarine Networks was signed in the fourth quarter of 2018, and the first phase of the project, connecting South Africa with Portugal, is expected to be completed in 2021.

The company in April completed the “Curie” project, its first private intercontinental cable, connecting Chile to Los Angeles.

It also announced last year the Dunant transatlantic submarine cable project connecting France and the United States. The 6,600 km cable is scheduled to come into service in 2020.

Subsea cables form the backbone of the internet by carrying 99 percent of the world’s data traffic.

(Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)