Deployment of Rwanda’s 2,300km national fibre-optic backbone is over halfway to completion, with around 1,380km of fibre already rolled out across the country, local daily The New Times reports, citing ICT Minister Ignace Gatare. According to Gatare, two major regional links – which connect the capital Kigali to Gatuna and Rusumo – are already covered and two more regional routes – linking Kigali and Kanyaru, and Kigali with Rubavu – will be completed by the end of September. He added that construction of the backbone will be finished by the end of the year, with the network scheduled to be fully operational by April 2011.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the Rwandan government signed a USD40 million deal with South Korean incumbent telco KT Corp in October 2008 to supply and install the national fibre-optic backbone. The network will connect 317 institutions (97 in Kigali and 220 outside the capital) in all 30 districts, and connect all nine of Rwanda’s borders. The government hopes the infrastructure will boost access to broadband services, including e-governance, e-banking, e-learning and e-health, and facilitate IT-based foreign direct investments in areas such as business outsourcing.