Morocco will be connected to the "Medusa" megaproject at the beginning of 2025. The European Investment Bank (EIB) has just provided EUR 100 million to co-finance the "Medusa" megaproject to ensure digital connectivity across the Mediterranean. This EU-backed strategic plan will connect for the first time nine countries in North Africa and Southern Europe, including Morocco, to support their sustainable and inclusive economic development through the longest giant submarine cable system in the Mediterranean. The cable will run from Egypt to Spain.
The system will be partially operational in Europe by the end of 2024 and in the Eastern Mediterranean region in the first half of 2025. "Medusa" consists of the installation of a modern high-capacity submarine fibre optic cable connecting five countries (Cyprus, Spain, France, Italy and Portugal) with four countries in the EU's southern neighbourhood (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt) at a total cost of EUR 342 million. This strategic road will improve connectivity between the EU and its North African partners.
Welcome to #Medusa cable, the longest submarine cable system in the Mediterranean Sea ?— Michaël Trabbia (@MichaelTrabbia) December 13, 2022
By combining our landing stations with our new urban infrastructure, we are strengthening Marseille's attractiveness as a digital gateway to Europe ??
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The ambitious project involves an investment of 326 million euros and will be the longest submarine fibre optic cable in the Mediterranean. It will serve as an infrastructure to strengthen the fibre optic submarine cable network, taking into account the growing demands of data flow (40% per year), with submarine cables carrying 98% of Internet traffic. Medusa will respond to three urgent connectivity needs: connecting southern Europe and North Africa, strengthening connections between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, and connecting large Mediterranean islands such as Sicily and Crete.
It is one of the key projects of the EU's new Agenda for the Mediterranean adopted last year to boost digital connectivity in the EU's southern neighbourhood. An EU grant of EUR 40 million will ensure direct high-speed connectivity, in particular between the research and education communities and users in North African countries and the European Union. EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix said that "digital transformation and high-speed digital connectivity are crucial in a post-pandemic world" and added that "working together, we can accelerate our efforts to promote greater integration in the region and foster sustainable development and economic growth, providing more opportunities for all".
The cable starts in Lisbon and ends in the Egyptian city of Port Said, crossing several Mediterranean countries. It will have 16 landing points in Portugal, Morocco, Spain, France, Algeria, Tunisia, Italy, Greece and Egypt. It will have three connection points in Spain: the Zahara de los Atunes and Torreguadiaro stations around the Strait of Gibraltar and the future Barcelona Cable Landing Station (Barcelona CLS), currently under construction. The submarine fibre optic infrastructure will be operational in 2024. The first part will connect Lisbon, Barcelona and Marseille and will be able to accommodate up to 24 fibre-optic pairs, each with a capacity of 20 Tbit/s.