IFC, Google to invest $100mn to improve broadband connectivity in Africa
The International Finance Corporation in partnership with Google, Convergence Partners, and Mitsui & Co. have agreed to invest up to $100 million in CSquared – a company focused on deploying wholesale fiber optic networks across Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Washington D.C.-based multilateral lender said the investment will help to improve broadband connectivity in the region, where the lack of dependable internet access impairs economic growth, competitiveness, and the development of basic services.
According to the IFC, Sub-Saharan Africa needs about 500,000 extra kilometers of fibre optic to deliver better broadband penetration for its burgeoning population. But fibre optic cables are expensive, with just one kilometer of cable costing between $15,000 and $30,000.
CSquared's business model, however, deploys and operates fibre optic infrastructure on a shared basis, helping to lower installation and consumer costs. The company aims to offer high-quality, affordable wholesale services to all licensed operators.
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