Good news peeps, at last we could have an alternative to NITEL and its Sat-3 cable which is always going up and down.
Internet access to expand as Main One Cable project flags-off
By Sonny Aragba-Akpore
NIGERIA, Ghana and the rest of Africa are set to experience a major boost in Internet access and a hefty reduction in tariffs with the commencement of the Main One Cable Project. In what is clearly a major milestone especially for the West Africa sub-region, Main One Cable System, has acquired the first ever issued under-sea cable system landing licence in West Africa. In addition, the pioneering organisation has made the requisite contractual payments to Tyco Telecommunications who will implement both phases of the project on a turnkey basis. Work has therefore begun on the massive intercontinental sub-marine fibre optic cable project.
The Main One cable project is an ambitious under-sea fibre optic cabling project that will extend from Portugal to the West and Southern Coasts of Africa, respectively. The first phase of the project will span 6,900 kilometres, extending from Portugal to Nigeria and Ghana on the West Coast of Africa. The second phase is expected to extend by another 6,000 kilometres to South Africa and Angola. Using Dense Wave Multiplexing technology of 1.28 Terabits per second with two fibre pairs, the Main One cable is designed to deliver more capacity to the region than any of the other existing or proposed under-sea fibre projects.
In addition to considerably enhancing broadband access the Main One cable project will help to crash tariffs significantly. It will provide open access to regional telecom operators and Internet Service Providers at rates that are less than twenty percent of current international bandwidth tariffs obtainable via SAT 3 or satellite service operators.
The Main One project will also drive job provision across the continent. According to Funke Opeke, Main One Chief Executive Officer, "as a business championed by African entrepreneurs, Main One will encourage local content development via skills transfer of critical networking technologies. We will also enhance job creation with the location of the Global Network Operational Centre (GNOC) for the entire system in Nigeria and a cable station in Ghana".
Opeke reiterated that the massive cabling project will provide a major boost to Internet access across the continent which currently stands at less than five per cent. "In addition, Main One will help to ease the difficulties of switching traffic between African countries, eliminating the inconvenience and added costs of first routing traffic to Europe".
"With the support of individual investors from within our region, private equity institutions, development finance institutions and a handful of African banks, the development of the project and execution of the contract by Tyco Telecommunications remains in line with our schedule for completion in May 2010", said Opeke.
"The Main One contract is now in force as scheduled and having completed the desk top study, we are working with our supplier and key partners to bring this privately owned cable project to a successful execution," she concluded.
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I have been without internet access at home since last week as my ISP says that NITEL has a problem and their fibre backbone is down. If this is like what happened sometime ago, when NITEL was cut off because of unpaid National debt, I am of the opinion that we need an alternative and we need it real fast.