CSquared, a tech company focused on deploying wholesale, carrier-neutral, open-access fiber optic networks across Sub-Saharan Africa, is to receive up to $100m in funding.
Backers included World Bank Group member IFC, Google, Inc., Convergence Partners, and Mitsui & Co.
The operation – part of IFC’s Digital Infrastructure Initiative, which aims to increase internet access in under served regions – intends to improve broadband connectivity in Sub-Saharan Africa where the lack of dependable internet access impairs economic growth, competitiveness, and the development of basic services. It will also expand Google’s existing operations in Uganda and Ghana, with the goal of entering several new markets over the next five years.
Fiber optic cable, however, is expensive—just one kilometer can cost between $15,000 and $30,000—and Africa needs at least half a million more kilometers. Deploying and operating infrastructure on a shared basis—Csquared’s business model—can help lower installation and consumer costs. CSquared aims to offer high-quality, affordable wholesale services to all licensed operators.
CSquared is a technology company, making commercially driven investments into broadband-enabling infrastructure throughout Africa. It has built more than 800 km of fiber in Kampala and Entebbe, Uganda; and more than 840 km of fiber in the Ghanaian cities of Accra, Tema, and Kumasi. More than 25 internet service providers and mobile network operators now use the company’s fiber networks to offer broadband services and 4G data to end users, with over 1,200 tower and commercial building sites connected directly to its fiber infrastructure.