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Internet

ACE cable system lands in Sierra Leone

Tuesday 11 October 2011 | 22:10 CET | News
Sierra Leone has secured its first fibre optic connection to the outside world with the arrival of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable in Freetown, Reuters reports. Gilbert Cooper, director of administration of the state-owned Sierra Leone Cable company, said it would only become operational during the second half of 2012 as other preparations need to be completed first. Once finished, the 17,000 km ACE cable will run from France to South Africa, connecting 23 countries. It was launched by France Telecom. Sierra Leone is part of a dwindling group of countries still wholly reliant on highly expensive satellite bandwidth for internet connections. Numerous studies have identified cheap and fast internet as a factor that can boost a country's economic growth. According to the National Telecommunications Commission, the country as a whole has just 155 Mbps of bandwidth. The World Bank estimates that bandwidth in Sierra Leone costs ten times the level in East Africa and 25 times the US price. Barely one percent of the 5.4 million population have access to internet services. Shadi Al-Gerjawi, CEO of mobile phone company Africell in Sierra Leone, said the cable would provide more than forty times the current bandwidth in the country.

Categories: Fixed / Internet
Companies: Africell / France Telecom
Countries: Sierra Leone
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