FIXED network operator Tel-One yesterday commissioned a $2 million optic fibre transmission link to improve communication in Victoria Falls ahead of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly which kicks off in three-weeks’ time.
Richard Muponde in Victoria Falls
The project is a partnership between TelOne and Chinese company Huawei.
The UNWTO General Assembly has been dubbed a “paperless” convention as all data collection at the conference venue would be done through Internet services.
Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development minister Nicholas Goche was expected to commission the optic fibre link, but could not make it. Goche was, however, represented by the principal director in the ministry, engineer Eric Gumbie.
In a speech read on his behalf by Gumbie, Goche said the launch of the fibre optic link would turn Victoria Falls into a cyber city before the general assembly.
“This project has ushered in a new era of fast, reliable and affordable broadband Internet services in Victoria Falls. Internet will no longer be considered a luxury, but an essential for the future growth and development of this town” Goche said.
“TelOne has made sterling efforts to improve connectivity and has connected all major hotels and lodges through optic fibre. Both local and foreign tourists, businesses and residents of Victoria Falls will enjoy fast and affordable broadband services from anywhere within this town.”
TelOne has invested $21 million in the East African Cable System giving it a 28% shareholding in the company.
Goche said to date TelOne had laid its own fibre between Harare and Forbes Border post in Mutare, linking with the East African Submarine System in Maputo, which has also been linked with the resort town.
“This goes on to show government’s commitment towards the universal access of information and communication technologies to all the citizens of our country.
This development also means that the country will no longer have to rely on the expensive satellite systems to carry voice and data services.”