Fibre-Optic Initiative Will Boost Internet Services
South Sudan intends to tap a Chinese loan to finance the roll-out of terrestrial fibre-optic cable networks to link the country to submarine cable systems through neighbouring countries. This development bodes well for the ICT sector in South Sudan, which is at risk of underinvestment as a result of many competing demands for limited resources in the newly independent country.
The internet sector in the landlocked South Sudan country is hamstrung by the high cost of international connectivity through satellites. The government reportedly pays around EUR20,000 a month for internet access through VSAT satellites. This is uneconomical for the government and out of reach for most individual users. It is therefore not surprising that the country's internet penetration rate was just 7.6% at the end of 2011, according to BMI estimates.
According to Joseph Stephen Lugga, an official at the Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services, the proposed fibre-optic network will comprise three links to submarine cable systems along the east coast of Africa. The first would lead from Juba, the capital of South Sudan, to Mombasa in Kenya. The second will connect Juba to Tanzania through Uganda, while the third will connect Juba to Djibouti through Gambella in Ethiopia.
|Neighbours On The Coast To The Rescue|
|Map Of Eastern Horn Of Africa, 2012|