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
Africa should accelerate IPv6 migration now to avoid a scramble laterThe Internet community across Africa needs to prepare for the inevitable day when AFRINIC, the Regional Internet Registry (RIR), will run out of IPv4 addresses to allocate to its members, says SEACOM. Read More
Smile launches first VoLTE service in East AfricaSmile Telecom Holdings has launched the first voice over LTE (VoLTE) service in East Africa offering high-definition voice and video calling services. Read More
Seagate Storage Cloud to launch in South AfricaSeagate Technology, the California-based global leader in data storage solutions, is to formally launch a long-term, unlimited capacity cloud-based data storage service in South Africa early next year. Read More
Hellofood celebrates 3rd Anniversary in KenyaHellofood, Kenya’s leading online food portal that allows users to order for food online from a listing of over 270 restaurants selling on its online marketplace, is celebrating its 3rd anniversary. Read More
eCommerce in Africa urged to take advantage of mobileThe Executive Chairman of Alltel has urged operators of eCommerce in Ghana and Africa as a whole to take advantage of the current trend for Africans to trade online via their mobile handsets. Read More
Sao Tomé & Principe to Cape Town segment of ACE cable launchedOrange, together with the other members of the ACE consortium, has announced the start of the next phase of the ACE submarine cable system to expand broadband connectivity and digital services in Africa. Read More
Free Basics by Facebook expands internet access to millions of people in AfricaFacebook’s Free Basics Platform is now live, making more than 60 new services are available across the 29 countries where Free Basic services are available, including 14 in Africa. Read More
Alcatel-Lucent, Burkina Faso to apply cloud networking for digital public servicesAlcatel-Lucent is to provide the government of Burkina Faso with cloud networking technology that will enable it to develop new digital public services, such as e-government, e-learning and e-health. Read More
Jumia braces for mega ‘black Friday’Kenyan e-tailer Jumia is expecting record traffic next week, when it stages its second ‘black Friday’ sale. Read More
FEATURED STORYeCommerce in Africa urged to take advantage of mobile
The Executive Chairman of Alltel has urged operators of eCommerce in Ghana and Africa as a whole to take advantage of the current trend for Africans to trade online via their mobile handsets.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHNigeria needs $25b investment in broadband, says Wood
Telecoms executive Adrian Wood speaks to Kokumo Goodie about investment potential in Nigeria.