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Zimbabwe's State owned telecom operator TelOne has completed the construction of Makuti to Chirundu fibre optic link as part of its network modernisation drive and effort to connect the nation to Zambia.

The 65 kilometre long fibre optic link, that cost $1.5 million, stretches from Makuti, a village in Mashonaland West Province to Chirundu, a town in Zambia at the border with Zimbabwe.

“This project is part of the Government’s effort to upgrade and modernize communications infrastructure thereby reducing the connectivity costs of both data and voice,” Information Communications and Technology minister Jenfan Muswere said while commissioning the newly constructed fibre optic link in Makuti on Wednesday.

“The Government will now be able to provide its citizens with affordable internet and create business opportunities along the way.”

He said the fibre optic link had completed the connectivity of Zimbabwe with neighboring countries, specifically South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana and Zambia. 

This Makuti to Chirundu fibre optic link project during its construction created downstream employment of 850 people, according to TelOne.

Lawrence Nkala, a wholesale and infrastructure divisional director at TelOne, said the project, which was solely funded by TelOne, will contribute to the southern African’s economy through generation of the much needed foreign currency.

                                          

“The link was constructed at a total cost of $1.5 million from TelOne’s own financial resources. The Makuti to Chirundu optic fibre link is set to solidify TelOne's position as a reliable carrier-grade service provider to both local and international markets,” he said.

“The link also gives the company capacity to carry domestic traffic for all players in Zimbabwe and transit traffic across to Zambia and beyond. This presents an opportunity to generate foreign currency as we immediately commence offering cross-border connectivity.”

Nkala said TelOne constructed the backbone infrastructure using local contractors on the civil works and their own engineers were responsible for the implementation of the transmission equipment. He said the areas along the fibre that had no connectivity will now have both voice and broadband connection.

Speaking at the same event, Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka said this fibre optic link, that facilitates the delivery of efficient communication in the country in general and specifically along the route, will contribute to Zimbabwe's economic transformation.

“The potential in foreign currency earnings that this development brings about enhances our hope that we are getting our infrastructure right to deliver the economic transformation that we so look forward to,” she said.

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