Deployment of Rwanda’s 2,300km national fibre-optic backbone has been completed on schedule, local daily The New Times reports, citing deputy director of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Patrick Nyirishema. Physical rollout of the network, which includes cross-border fibre installation at the Uganda and Tanzania borders, was finalised by the RDB’s target of 31 December 2010. Nyirishema revealed that installation of equipment in institutions that are directly connected to the fibre-optic network is ongoing, with the entire network scehduled to be fully operational by April this year.
The infrastructure will boost access to various broadband services, including government initiatives such as e-governance, e-banking, e-learning and e-health, and will also facilitate IT-based foreign direct investment (FDI) in areas such as business outsourcing. 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.