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TTCL completes first phase of SADC fibre optic project

TTCL completes first phase of SADC fibre optic project

The first phase of the connection of member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has been completed with the successful interconnection of Malawi and Zambia.

In August 2019, Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL), which is managing and operating Tanzania's National ICT Broadband Backbone (NICTBB), announced it will manage the implementation of fibre optic connectivity to link up all SADC member states.

The project is expected to interconnect Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Comoros.

Atashasta Nditiye, Tanzania's Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, said the decision to engage TTCL in the project was taken during the telecommunications meeting of government officials from SADC countries that was held in Mwanza, a port city on the shore of Lake Victoria, in northern Tanzania.

"We agreed to start with the fibre optic cable network which we have in Tanzania so that communication becomes easy within the region for us to exchange various information."

Prior to the SADC project, NICTBB had been extended to Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, and Kenya.

Announcing the project's first phase development, Dr Hassan Abbas, Director of Tanzania Information Services Department and chief government spokesperson said,"In addition to improving TTCL's internet connectivity to provide high-quality internet services to citizens of Tanzania, we also want to improve the community-wide network by establishing a network which will allow for traffic exchange."

He added that when the project is completed, it will drive the growth of digital economy among SADC member states.

"The infrastructure is critical to ensure an increase in the use of, and access to the internet," Abbas added.

Details of the project's timeline and total cost have not yet been disclosed.

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