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(AP) — For a decade, West Africa’s main connection to the Internet has been a single fiber-optic cable in the Atlantic, a tenuous and expensive link for one of the poorest areas of the planet. But this summer, a second cable snaked along the West African coastline, ending at Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos. It has more than five times the capacity of the old one and is set to bring competition to a market where wholesale Internet access costs nearly 500 times as much as it does in the U.S. It’s the first of a new wave of investment that the U.N.’s International Telecommunications Union says will vastly raise the bandwidth available in West Africa by mid-2012.

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