Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Tanzania broadband project

The National ICT Broadband Project is slowly inching its way across Tanzania. Motorists who travel on the Mwanza - Musoma road may have noticed recently that a trench lies parallel to the road; it is the trench where an optic fiber cable is being layed-out to link Musoma to Mwanza under the Broadband Project.


Photo: A fresh mound of soil covering the trench with the optic fiber cable, near the village of Sabasaba on the Mwanza - Musoma road, some 20 kilometres from Musoma


In a speech delivered to a meeting of the International Telecommunications meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland, last October Tanzania Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda said:
...Tanzania has embarked on the construction of the Terrestrial National Optic Fiber Cable (OFC), part of which will become operational towards the end of this year, 2009. The First and Second Phases of the Project will cover 7,000 kilometres, and already there exists 3,674 kilometres of the National Optic Fiber Cable in the country. Therefore, the National ICT Backbone Project when completed will cover a distance of 10,674 kilometres. As we are meeting today, the construction work is ongoing in [the] central part of our country and moving towards the borders of the western neigbhouring countries of Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda. This project will ensure  all administrative regional and district centres within Tanzania are connected to this backbone. Definitely, once said and done, such a National Digital Nervous System will make communication among people faster and easier. Also, a lot of information, news. and knowledge will be available across the country aiming at connecting the minds of the people.
That's the good news. The bad news is that, although the optic fiber cable will pass as close as 9 kilometres from where I am typing this post, it will be sometime before the benefits of broadband reach Butiama. I suspect I will still have to make the 80-kilometres round trip to Musoma whenever I need faster internet speeds.

I recently attempted to upload a short video clip using the slow connection I have and the estimated time of uploading was 2 days. I gave up. With that time I could have traveled to whever that clip was in the world and returned with it to Butiama before the uploading was completed.

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