Riding on the wave of Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki’s reforms in investment promotion and determination to build a robust technology ecosystem in the state, global technology giant, Facebook has invested in providing broadband internet in Edo State, in partnership with MainOne, a submarine cable system operator.
The investment is part of a 750km terrestrial fibre infrastructure project being implemented by the two companies in Edo and Ogun states. The project would provide an open-access transport network for metro fibre connectivity to reach more than 1,000,000 people in over 12 cities, including Benin City.
The Governor Godwin Obaseki-led government has prioritised technology as one of the cardinal pillars of his reform agenda in Edo State, introducing Information Communication Technology (ICT)-compliant pedagogy in primary schools; building the Edo Innovation Hub, where school leavers and graduates undergo beginner and advanced training in technology, as well as revamping technical education to increase productivity.
The new internet infrastructure by Facebook and MainOne will connect mobile operators’ base stations, Internet Service providers (ISPs), Points of Presence (POPs), and public locations including schools and hospitals.
In Benin City, extensive work has been done in laying the cables, as manholes with MainOne markings now dot different parts of the city, indicating that fibre cables lay underneath.
Speaking on the project, Network Investments Lead for Emerging Markets at Facebook, Ibrahima Ba, said: “We are working closely with MainOne and other partners to accelerate broadband deployment. In Nigeria, we are bringing together Facebook’s learnings from scaling our global infrastructure with MainOne’s knowledge of the local environment to develop and test new working models for multiple operators to access common infrastructure.”
MainOne’s Chief Executive Officer, Funke Opeke, lauded the collaboration and the commitment of Facebook and authorities in Nigeria to improving broadband penetration across the country.
Commenting on the partnership, she added, “MainOne has always been committed to broadband innovation, job creation as well as growing the digital economy of West Africa. We believe that this partnership and the open-access network we have developed, will be beneficial to improving the quality of access and accelerating the digital transformation in Ogun and Edo states.”