The roll out of wireless broadband (WiBro) that will ensure seamless internet access around Kigali city is heading in the right direction, according to a new report.
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Sector Performance Report 2008-2009 that was released last month revealed that detailed design and specification for the national backbone project is complete despite some challenges in getting enough machines and experienced engineers to conduct civil works on timely basis.
The report was prepared by the Ministry in the Office of the President in charge of ICT in collaboration with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
Its results were to be submitted to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for integration into the National Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) annual report preparation.
The Kigali WiBro, which will cost $8m (Rwf4.5b), is expected to provide advanced communication services through combining data, voice and video from both international and local traffic.
According to the report, 85 percent of the work has been executed.
The project was supposed to be launched in September this year but faced a setback when the regulator requested that the number of fibre ducts be increased by four.
Officials said this had a huge impact on budget allocation and the duration of accomplishing the project.
The report indicates that 95 percent construction of the National Backbone Network Operations Centre (NOC) at Kigali ICT Park is complete.
“The WiBro Server room partitioning, Local Area Network (LAN) cabling, UPS, desktop computers and backup generators for all WiBro Radio access sites (RAS) have been installed,” it states.
The project is said to have lacked sufficient numbers of well trained workers but some 11 Rwandan engineers have been sent to Seoul, South Korea for training in fibre splicing and maintenance as on field trainings continue.
Meanwhile statistics show that the overall budget execution on ICT is almost 100 percent. The government hopes to increase internet access to over 4 million people in the next few years.