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In Zimbabwe, the installation of the fibre-optic cable connecting Harare to Beitbridge (on the S. African border) via Bulawayo, which was due to start early this year is to commence this week.

WIOCC shareholder, TelOne’s, Managing Director Mr Hampton Mhlanga said the project was delayed because the Chinese contractors had problems in meeting immigration requirements. “We were having problems acquiring visa and work permits for the Chinese contractors. That has slowed down progress in the project we had earmarked for completion at the end of the year,” he said. He added that work on the project was scheduled to start on May 8.

In the 2011 National Budget, Government allocated US$15 million for the Harare-Bulawayo-Beitbridge and Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge fibre-optic project which covers a total distance of about 1,340km. Mr Mhlanga said TelOne was also upgrading existing backbone infrastructure for the Harare-Kariba link.

TelOne has already completed installation of the Harare to Mozambique fibre-optic cable. Before this was laid, Zimbabwe had been using the Mazowe earth satellite link, which is expensive and has limited capacity. Once complete, the fibre-optic links will enable faster Internet and telephone connection, transmission of data as well as multimedia facilities.

Read the full story here.

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