TOP STORY: Artel targets high speed Internet connectivity for rural areas

Last year Artel had 130 operating  sites in rural areas, each served with adequate bandwidth depending to the sites’ needs and had connected most government agencies in rural areas to their servers In  a bid to bridge the digital divide across the country, New Artel has connected 94 Mbps of Internet bandwidth in rural areas.
Rwanda’s teachers looking at the laptops donated under the ‘One Laptop per Child’ project recently and Romain Murenzi, Minister in the President’s office in charge of Science Technology and ICT.
Rwanda’s teachers looking at the laptops donated under the ‘One Laptop per Child’ project recently and Romain Murenzi, Minister in the President’s office in charge of Science Technology and ICT.

Last year Artel had 130 operating  sites in rural areas, each served with adequate bandwidth depending to the sites’ needs and had connected most government agencies in rural areas to their servers

In  a bid to bridge the digital divide across the country, New Artel has connected 94 Mbps of Internet bandwidth in rural areas.

Françis Karemera, Chief Executive Officer of New Artel said that the move will connect rural institutions to their main branches and enhance customer satisfaction. Beneficiaries of rural Internet connectivity include, health centers and schools among others.

New Artel which recently benefited from government’s Frw1.5b universal access fund to provide telecommunication services in rural areas that MTN Rwanda and Rwandatel do not cover, targets 120Mbps by December 2008 and 150Mbps by end January 2009.

“The target was to have 150Mb by end October because we have  sufficient resources to provide connectivity, but currently we are meeting the demand from our customers and we don’t want to have capacity seated idol,” said Karemera.

Last year Artel had 130 operating  sites in rural areas, each served with adequate bandwidth depending on the sites’ needs and had connected most government agencies in rural areas.

Karemera said that capacity increased because of  national backbone optic cable that had been laid to fill the gaps in backbone networks, targeting to improve rural connectivity. Its expected that a nationwide fibre backbone will turn the country into a knowledge-based society.

Some of the institutions that are benefiting from Artel’s connectivity include Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), Immigration Department, Social security funds offices, Banque Populaire. Other institutions being targeted include the National Police.

Artel is currently equipped to deliver wholesale Internet access and Very Small Aperture Terminal’s (VSAT) solutions across the country and is the largest supplier of internet access in the country. It is also the only licensed satellite operator.

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