World Bank to push North African broadband
INTERNET| March 7, 2012, 11:01 a.m.
The World Bank has launched a regional initiative to improve broadband connectivity in North Africa by bringing utilities’ fiber optic networks into broadband use.
The World Bank’s broadband connectivity initiative will study the potential for developing regional broadband backbone networks in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and prepare the ground for new investments.
The Bank says it will use a new approach that leverages already-deployed infrastructure from other utilities, such as electricity, transport or oil and gas. The study is expected to tackle the main bottlenecks to broadband connectivity in the region, in particular providing redundancy (extra capacity) to existing international connectivity and opening alternative backbone networks in domestic markets.
“Worldwide, broadband is becoming an essential infrastructure for innovation, economic growth, and competitiveness,” said Doyle Gallegos, Practice Leader, Connectivity Infrastructure, World Bank. “This World Bank initiative will help increase MENA countries’ capacity to cope with the tremendous predicted increase in broadband traffic and to compete in the 21st century’s global market.”
The MENA region has been actively increasing broadband connections and, as of today, broadband connects over a quarter of MENA households. Broadband traffic in the region is predicted to grow over 100% in the next five years, making MENA the fastest growing region in the world with Sub-Saharan Africa.
The World Bank study will cover the region’s international and domestic connectivity and will produce four country case studies focused on utility infrastructure use in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia. In addition, the World Bank will look at broadband-based applications to increase operational efficiency and competitiveness of utilities, starting with a smart-grid pilot project in Jordan. Findings from these activities will be shared through regional workshops aimed at boosting investment in the region, particularly in utilities’ fiber-optic networks.
The broadband connectivity initiative is part of the World Bank’s Arab World Initiative and is supported by the Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) and the Korean Government.
MORE INTERNET NEWS
Huawei: why Togo internet connections lagHuawei West Africa V-P Shi Wei Liang has explained why Togo still suffers from slow and inconsistent internet access. Read More
Kenya Internet users surpass 26mThe number of internet users in Kenya has grown to 26.1 million, largely due to mobile phone penetration. Read More
Gilat Satcom launches Village Island satellite service for rural AfricaGilat Satcom has launched its ‘Village Island’ portfolio which enables rural villages and remote communities in Africa where ARPUs are low to take control of their digital futures. Read More
Cyber law takes bite at first victimJournalist and blogger Daniel Kenosi has become the first known casualty of the cybercrime law that Botswana's law makers have been trying to put into effect. Read More
Fibre rollout seeks stakeholder participationImplementers of new BoFINET projects dubbed Wholesale Wi-Fi and Fibre-to-the-X are calling on all relevant stakeholders to team up with them to help the projects take shape. Read More
Africa Online to launch new services in TanzaniaPan-African service provider, Gondwana International Networks (GIN), parent company to Africa Online, has announced that it will be expanding its VSAT services in Tanzania as well as launching a managed infrastructure and services solution called iManage. Read More
Orange rolls out 3G in Mandera CountyOrange has rolled out its GSM network in Mandera County as part of the company’s ongoing plan to connect all counties across the country to Orange’s high-speed network. Read More
Free Wifi at Dakar’s Independence SquareInternet users visiting the city centre of the Senegalese capital city will now be able to browse the internet for free at the Independence Square (Place de l’Indépendance), as part of the Dakar Digital City project. Read More
Local content will drive Nigeria’s internet penetration, says ComTech ministerContrary to the belief that social network platforms such as YouTube, Facebook WhatsApp and others will drive internet penetration, Nigeria’s Communication Technology Minister, Mrs Omobola Johnson, says local content will drive internet penetration in the country. Read More
FEATURED STORY2bn priced out of internet access
A new report from the Alliance for Affordable Internet shows that the price of broadband remains prohibitive for billions in developing and emerging countries, with women and rural dwellers hardest hit.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHVillagers get solar training at Barefoot College
The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India.
COMPANY NEWSMicrosoft 4Afrika launches Biz4Afrika online SME hub
Microsoft 4Afrika used the opening of the Connected East Africa event in Diani, Kenya today to launch Biz4Afrika, an online hub providing Kenyan small and medium enterprises ...