Government officials have reported that the country’s commitment to connect all corners of the country with the 2000 Km fibre optic loop is on course.
RDB-IT officials reported early this week that in 18 months, the country would be blessed by a fully functional Internet backbone of fibre optic material. The provision of the fibre optics infrastructure is in line with the government's vision of becoming a regional Information Communication Technology (ICT) hub.
There are quite a number of ICT initiatives to be accomplished during the same period. Internet users in Kigali City are meant to be connected by a highly demanding broadband wireless technology called Wibro, to be built by Korea Telecom.
In probably less than two years the multi-million dollar state-of-the-art National Data Centre (NDC), that is meant to churn out IT services to neighbouring countries like Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda will be unveiled.
And while the ‘One Laptop per Child’ project has just opened a computer learning centre on our own turf, to serve IT foot soldiers from all over the continent, government through the e-Rwanda project has embarked on another innovative attempt to take information to the rural ordinary citizen by introduction of the ICT buses.
All these initiatives including a new telecom operator and the dream of building a mini-Silicon Valley in Rwanda will be boosted by availability of affordable, fast broadband Internet connections that don’t rely on satellite but fibre optic cables.
However since Rwanda is landlocked, the country’s Internet backbone will be a useless venture if not successfully connected to the submarine cables at the Coast. This is because users would still have to depend on satellite connections to access the world.
All concerned parties including government, the telecom companies and the private sector should seek for the most effective way of partnering with the neighbouring countries. Without effective regional corporation we might as well take a longer time than scheduled to reap where we have sowed.