Government is in final talks with SEACOM to bring down the prices of the international bandwidth from about $2,700 to $50 for each Mbps, every month.
SEACOM is the company that owns the 1.28 Tbps capacity undersea sea cable that links Southern and the East Africa to Europe and Asia via the Red Sea, Egypt and the Mediterranean.
The company is delivering open access to capacity and landing infrastructure which is expected to drive international backbone prices down by 90 percent.
Augustin Iyako the Karisimbi Project coordinator said that, “The distribution of international bandwidth by terrestrial (sea cable) contrary to the current satellite will bring down the cost of communications tremendously.
Iyako said that costs of international bandwidth for social services which include schools and hospitals are to be reduced to $11 for every Mbps each month.
He said that he is optimistic that when Rwanda connects to the sea cables it will boost telecommunication services and make them affordable for many Rwandans.
Recently, New Artel, a government owned Internet Service Provider (ISP) signed a contract to access the fibre optic cables connected from the SEACOM Point-of-Presence (POP) through Kenya and Uganda to the Katuna border.
Another cable expected to dock at the coast is the EASSy under sea fibre optic cable project in comparison that goes from South and East Africa to Sudan.
It is a consortium structure for carriers and is funded by International Finance Corporation. However EASSy has suffered from several delays in implementation due to lack of consensus among parties.
According to Iyako, the cables will enhance Karisimbi project’s objective to provide low cost, high-capacity communications capability for both rural and urban areas.
It will also expand coverage for mobile phone, Internet as well as TV/FM.
Government has invested about $3.2m in the mast with advanced technology on Mt. Karisimbi.
The mast in Northern Province is expected to be complete by next year a move that will see the antenna hosting more activities both national and regional.
Iyako said that necessary infrastructures like electricity, fibre optic tower and Digital Video Broadcast Terrestrial (DVBT) has been installed.