South Sudan to lay fibre-optic cables within two years
South Sudan’s minister for telecommunications and postal services, Rebecca Joshua Okwaci, has said that the government will lay a fibre-optic cable in the country within the next two years, Reuters reports.
South Sudan became independent of Sudan in 2011, and is served by operators such as MTN and Zain, but its existing infrastructure cannot support high-speed internet services.
The fibre-optic deployment would bring broadband internet to the country, and Okwaci allegedly said that the government plans to lay 1,600km of fibre across South Sudan; also linking it with subsea cables via Tanzania and Uganda.
Costs are yet to be specified, but Okwaci told Reuters: “I believe in a year and a half, going to two years, we can connect it.”
In early 2013, Juma Stephen, undersecretary at the country’s telecommunications and postal ministry, revealed plans for the deployment of a terrestrial fibre-optic cable in South Sudan that year.
This was put on hold following the outbreak of war, but Okwaci has reportedly said that the 2013 conflict would not deter the country’s plan to connect itself to the “information superhighway”.
In July 2013, satellite provider O3b Networks said it would deliver next-generation satellite services to South Sudan as part of a deal with African ISP RCS-Communications.