(Ecofin Agency) - Zimbabwean company Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Facebook announced today they are partnering to build an optical fiber network in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Through this network, the two partners initiate the realization of a digital corridor that will start from the center of the DRC, cross the rainforest to connect East Africa to the submarine cable 2Africa in the Atlantic Ocean.
“This is one of the most difficult fiber builds ever undertaken, crossing more than 2,000 kilometers of some of the most challenging terrain in the world. Liquid Technologies and Facebook have a common mission to provide affordable infrastructure to bridge connectivity gaps, and we believe our work together will have a tremendous impact on internet accessibility across the region,” said Nic Rudnick, Group CEO of Liquid Intelligent Technologies.
For Ibrahima Ba, Director of Network Investments, Emerging Markets at Facebook, "this fiber build with Liquid Technologies is one of the most exciting projects we have worked on. We know that deploying fibre in this region is not easy, but it is a crucial part of extending broadband access to under-connected areas.”
In its August 2020 report titled "What is the impact of fiber connectivity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo?" CDC Group estimated that Internet penetration in the DRC is less than 15% and access costs are still high at $12.57 per gigabit per second. Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Facebook are looking to change that as demand for connectivity grows in the country. More than 5,000 people from local communities will take part in this large-scale project.
Through their collaboration, the two companies aim to make Internet access more affordable for over 30 million people. This high-speed connectivity should lead to socio-economic investments that will revolutionize the living conditions of the Congolese.