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Malawi completes US$23m national fibre rollout project

Malawi completes USm national fibre rollout project

Malawi's government says it has completed the rolling out of the US$23 million National Optic Fibre Backbone project which started in April last year.

Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi said, "The project has been completed and people should start enjoying fast and reliable internet services starting from the month of February. What is remaining on our part now is to start sensitising people about the benefits of the project."

Huawei Technologies and ESCOM (Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi) have worked on the project and laid infrastructure across the country's 28 districts. This infrastructure will integrate government operating systems, with the objective to increase internet access and address mobile phone communication challenges.

Over the years, most local districts have faced mobile phone and internet challenges but the government says the challenges will now be minimised in some areas and no longer exist in most rural areas and towns.

The optic fibre cables have been deployed on ESCOM power line transmissions.

Authorities believe the project will lead to enhanced connected and overall efficiency of Integrated Financial Management and Information System (IFMIS), Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS), and the Immigration and National Registration and Identification System.

According to a 2016 report released by BuddeCom research, Malawi's internet sector has 50 internet service providers, but limited availability and the high cost of international bandwidth has stifled growth and kept broadband access prices high.

Statista.com reports that in 2016, 9.61% of the population accessed the internet.

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