Mnangagwa commissions the National Backbone Fibre Optic Link
By Staff Writer | 13 Mar 2019 at 22:05hrs
President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday commissioned TelOne's US$7 million optic fibre link with South Africa at TelOne Beitbridge Exchange.
The TelOne Optic link will connect Beitbridge with Bulawayo, Harare, Masvingo and the rest of the country.
It was constructed by TelOne in partnership with China Exim Bank.
TelOne has already rolled out optic fibre from Mutare to Harare under Phase 1, carried out in 2010.
It also completed the Harare-Bulawayo route in May 2012 under Phase 2.
TelOne's project is expected to increase the network's capacity and efficiency, while consumers hope this will also translate to cheaper services, considering Zimbabwe is regarded as the most expensive in that line of service.
President said Mnangagwa the Optic fibre link was in line with Vision 2030. He said Zimbabwe is determined to connect the nation with the rest of the world and the completion of the National Backbone Fibre Link was timely.
"This is a momentous program for the commissioning of the National BroadBand optic fibre link. The project has a far-reaching impact towards out vision 2030."
The President said, "Special appreciation goes to the government of China for the loan facilities they continue to avail in support of infrastructure development in Zimbabwe. The US$98 million from China shows we have comprehensive partners and friends who continue supporting us in our quest to accelerate national economic development."
Mnangagwa further announced that his government is committed to bringing about development into the country.
"My administration is determined to bring our internet connection up to speed with the rest of the world. We are cognizant of the need to build infrastructure for tomorrow and the new Zimbabwe we want. It will further improve economic efficiency, productivity and connectivity.
"It is pleasing to note the entire engineering and technology on this project is done by our local sons and daughters.
President Mnangagwa commended the fact that the fibre network connects Zimbabwe to the rest of the world. He added that in the Second Republic all Zimbabweans should have access to all the tools of development.
Despite shutting down internet during the national Mnangagwa also said internet connectivity plays a pivotal role in the global economy hence becomes critical as businesses now require a developed broadband infrastructure when seeking a location for investment.
Mnangagwa said the National Backbone Fibre Link should spearhead digital transformation of rural areas and cities as the country moves towards introducing smart city technologies.
TelOne is presently the only major Zimbabwean company which has equity in the East African Cable System (EASSy), through WIOCC, a firm partly owned by a consortium of 14 African telecoms operators.
TelOne accesses EASSy and SEACOM via Mozambique (TDM) and South Africa (InfraCo).
EASSy is an undersea fibre optic cable system connecting East African countries to the rest of the world, while SEACOM is a private venture, offering wholesale broadband services and products.
It is understood that TelOne is currently implementing projects generated from own funds as the network provider migrates to new technologies with broadband effects.
Broadband is effectively delivered through terrestrial networks the world over in the form of optical fibre, copper and microwave (wireless) over the surface of the earth.