June 28, 2019 / 2:58 PM / 3 months ago

Google announces new subsea cable 'Equiano', connecting Africa and Europe

FILE PHOTO: An illuminated Google logo inside an office building in Zurich, Switzerland, December 5, 2018. Picture taken with a fisheye lens. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc’s Google on Friday announced a new subsea cable dubbed “Equiano” that will connect Africa with Europe, as it boosts its cloud computing infrastructure.

Equiano, fully funded by 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.

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

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