THE Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has signed a partnership agreement with the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) which will see the first expand broadband connectivity to reach all Tanzanians.
The agreement to be executed by the Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation (TTCL) involves the use of Tanesco’s plug-and-play infrastructure to improve connectivity.
The move will triple the pace of the government to establish fiber-optic internet connectivity in the country.
Official figures show that national fiber optic connectivity is currently 8,319 kilometers, nearly half of the government’s plan to reach 15,000 kilometers by the end of this year.
The Minister of Communication and Information Technologies, Dr Faustine Ndugulile said yesterday that national broadband is a must in the 4th industrial revolution.
“The fourth industrial revolution is based on a combination of various digital and modern technologies such as blockchain, drones, internet, artificial intelligence and more … to be able to use all these technologies effectively, we need communication and reliable power supply, âNdugulile said at the signing ceremony, which was also attended by Minister of Energy, Dr Medard Kalemani.
Dr Ndugulile said the ministry’s plan is to ensure that at least 94 percent of citizens have access to broadband coverage.
Currently, Tanzanian internet users have reached 29.15 million people, the majority connecting to the web through their mobile phones.
The cost per Mbps is also relatively high at five US dollars (around 11,595 / -).
The government and experts hope the new broadband will lower the cost of internet across the country. “We want every household connected to electricity to have access to the Internet,” he said, stressing that now is the time for every household to have the Internet, television and mobile phone connected to national broadband. .
TTCL acknowledges having insufficiently connected the public to broadband, due to limited but expensive infrastructure.
Energy Minister Dr Medard Kalemani said the partnership would make it easier for TTCL to use Tanesco’s power poles to distribute its fiber optic cables across the country.
“It is a more efficient, simple and fair way to extend broadband connectivity,” he said. He noted that with the new partnership, Tanesco will also use some of the infrastructure already installed by TTCL to provide electricity in the country.
Tanesco is currently connecting dozens of districts to the national grid by building large-scale power distribution lines.
The lines which include the 680 km line to Iringa, 520 km – Somangafungu, 422 km – Geita, 398 km – Tabora and 392 km to Mpanda will also be used by TTCL to connect the public to the national broadband service.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Dr Zainabu Chaula, explained that the ministry and TTCL believe it will extend broadband to at least 4,449.7 km, more than double the 1,880 km planned for the 2021/22 fiscal year.
This new partnership will, however, link more than ten regions of mainland Tanzania to the country’s fiber optic connectivity. 21 regions of Dar es Salaam, Coastal, Morogoro, Mbeya, Dodoma, Singida, Manyara, Arusha, Tanga, Kilimanjaro, Tabora, Shinyanga, Mwanza, Kagera, Lindi, Mtwara, Ruvuma, Rukwa, Kigoma and Mara are the only connected regions.
TTCL Managing Director Waziri Kindamba and Tanesco Managing Director Dr Tito Mwanuka said the companies have agreed on a modality for the implementation, service and rehabilitation of the infrastructure.