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Facebook, MTN and Vodafone (owner of Vodacom) are joining forces to build Africa’s largest undersea cable to make the Continent's internet faster and more robust while, hopefully, driving down data prices.

They expect the 2Africa cable to be in operation in the next three or four years.

The 37 000-kilometre-long 2Africa cable will be one of the largest in the world and will provide the data-starved Continent with more bandwidth than all its current undersea cables combined.

The cable will be laid far deeper than existing cables which should mean fewer internet outages.

Kieno Kammies interviewed Jan Vermeulen, a senior journalist at tech-news website MyBroadband.

When SEACOM launched in 2009… it helped drive down the price of international connectivity… I doubt that it [2Africa] is going to result in dramatically lower prices.

Jan Vermeulen, senior journalist - MyBroadband

Route diversity is something we should care about. We’ve felt the effects of major cable breaks twice in a row at the start of the year… the effect on South Africa’s internet was immediate… [route diversity] is not as sexy as having cheaper and faster data, but it’s still incredibly important.

Jan Vermeulen, senior journalist - MyBroadband

We have top-notch coverage in South Africa – I know it’s controversial if I suggest this – but we actually do… If you want to maintain the quality while prices come down, you need some kind of intervention…

Jan Vermeulen, senior journalist - MyBroadband

We need the floodgates on the amount of available data to open… The need [by the government] to control the whole chain is a mistake… It wants to maintain too much control… We’ve seen the private sector come to the party…

Jan Vermeulen, senior journalist - MyBroadband

Listen to the interview in the audio below.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : South Africa will soon have far more stable internet. Cheaper data? Maybe a bit

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