The contract requires KT to provide the government with technology, equipment, relevant application materials and training and to manage the cable installation process.
The deal was signed by the executive director of the Rwanda Information Communication Technology Authority, Nkubito Bakuramutsa, and Korea Telecom’s executive director for overseas business, Kim Hansuk.
Media reports from Kigali say that once complete, a national backbone will enable online activities that call for high-speed broadband Internet, including the creation and use of e-government services.
With a population of 10 million people, fewer than 10,000 Rwandans have Internet access. With the new infrastructure, officials expect 2 million to 4 million Rwandans to gain access within the next two to three years.
The project will also increase broadband availability to more than 700 Rwandan institutions, including schools, health-care centers and local government administrative centers.
The national backbone is expected to consist of a high-speed fiber-optic network that will link 36 main nodes in Rwanda’s 30 districts, with 2,300 kilometers of cable running across the country.
Kigali, Rwanda, will be fully connected on the fiber-optic cable by December or January, officials said, while work to connect the rest of the country should be complete by the end of 2009.
The backbone facility will be managed by a public-private partnership company that will be established once the network is complete, Bakuramutsa said.
Rwanda’s agreement with KT comes on the heels of $24 million credit for the Regional Communication Infrastructure Program for Rwanda. The financing is part of the World Bank’s $424 million Regional Communication Infrastructure Program, which is designed to improve the regional communications infrastructure and increase the deployment of e-government in Southern and Eastern Africa.
The program also complements the submarine fiber-optic cable projects being deployed along Africa’s east coast, which will link the region onto the global communications network.
By ITnewsAfrica.com Reporter