Internet Hope?

Is there hope on the horizon? Given our generally crappy internet connection and speeds – even though we do use the best ISP available, any development like this would be so welcome. Thanks to The Citizen for the story.

Zambia and Botswana authorities have signed a memorandum of understanding to connect the two nations with a universal optic cable that will enhance Internet connectivity and telecommunication services. Zambia’s Telecommunications Company (Zamtel) and the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) this week signed the MoU to connect a fibre optic cable network through the Kazungula border post.

The joint telecommunications project will cost US$258,000 and is expected take between three to four months to be built. Zamtel CEO Amon Jere said in Lusaka that once effected, the project would make Zambia a telecommunications hub in the southern African region. Jere said the project would help reduce the cost of international connectivity and improve the quality and speed of Internet services.

He disclosed that that the company was considering connecting another fibre optic cable with Namibia through Kazungula. “We are working on providing high quality but affordable high-speed Internet for all Zambians”, Jere said. “Every Zambian must have access to affordable high quality broadband Internet through both mobile and fixed Internet.”

BTC, which provides the country’s national and international telecommunications services, early this year signed a similar $5 million deal with Powertel of Zimbabwe. Under the deal, BTC provides Powertel with international bandwidth capacity for two years after the two organisations completed cross-border fibre optic connections at Ramokgwebana in December 2009.

Fibre optic cables are a special communication module used to carry data and information, widely used by Internet service providers and in other telecommunication systems. It offers relatively low consumer prices. BTC has already committed to invest P504 million to secure reliable bandwidth connection from an undersea fibre optic through the West African Cable System (WACS).

The picture? Chobe National Park in Botswana, close to Kazangula