Undersea superhighway fiber optic cable installation on schedule – Chamisa

HARARE, — Installation of the fiber optic cable which will link Zimbabwe with the rest of the world should be complete by March this year in time to enable visitors during the 2010 FIFA World Cup to enjoy reliable and fast Internet connections, according to ITC Minister Nelson Chamisa.

He said here Wednesday that the government was determined to ensure that Zimbabwe benefited fully from the world soccer showcase to be held in neighbouring South Africa from June 11 to July 11 this year.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti had made available 5.0 million USD in the 2010 National Budget for installation of the fiber optic cable.

“The fiber optic cable connection is expected to respond to problems of Internet connectivity which has made services expensive compared with elsewhere in the region,” said Chamisa.

He added that the fiber optic cable connection was the way to go since satellite facilities were expensive and the country rented them from other Internet providers.

He said the Zimbabwe government, through his ministry, wanted to ensure that Internet technology was affordable and accessible to everyone.

In his 2010 Budget, Biti also announced duty-free importation of ICT related products, with the objective of making them cheaper and accessible to everyone.

IT experts and service providers have hailed government’s efforts to improve Internet connectivity, saying it would ensure that the country moved with trends the world over.

Countries such as Kenya have already started benefiting from the 17,000-km cable which runs along the east coast of Africa, creating a digital superhighway that links South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya with Europe and Asia.