Internet News - In Brief


- While opening the Broadband Experience exhibition in South Africa, Brian Herlihy, CEO of SEACOM revealed that of the total 1.28Tb/s potential capacity of the cable, “about 5% to 6%” is currently being utilised. This translates into around 70 Gbps.

- Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (BTC) will invest US$75 million (P504 million) in the West African Cable System (WACS). BTC Group CEO Thapelo Lippe said that his company and Telcom Namibia will both contribute equally as second tiers while regional giants like Vodacom, MTN, Neotel and Zain will contribute US$100 million (approximately P672 million) each for the development of the undersea cable that will link London with Africa.

- MainOne Cable Company has announced conclusion of the shore-end laying of its undersea fibre optic cables in Lagos, Nigeria and Accra, Ghana respectively. This is coming about two weeks after Glo also landed its own cable in Alfa beach Lagos Nigeria and subsequently in Ghana, last week.

- Rwanda’s The Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Aggrey Awori, has halted the process of procuring a firm to manage the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure and E-Government Infrastructure (NBI/EGI) project. According Mr Awori, the reasons for halting the process is based on the need for the involvement of National Information Technology Authority - Uganda (NITA-U).

- One of the controversial winners of the 2.3GHz license in the just concluded auction by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mobitel Nigeria has its selected Alvarion to build the company's $7 million broadband network in Nigeria. Mobitel will begin to offer voice and high-bandwidth data services in the key cities of Lagos , Port-Harcourt, Warri and Abuja. During the second phase of the project, Mobitel will expand coverage to 18 other states in the country, including Kano, Kaduna , Oyo and Edo.

- Telemedia Group has launched Telemigrants Mali, an innovative pilot program designed to provide a continuous high speed Internet between two remote villages Kersiniane and Yelimane and native migrants based in Montreuil, in the outskirts of Paris. This program is innovative because it is a real mutualist digital infrastructure for a sustainable solidarity development. Money from the diaspora is in effect paying for the implementation of connectivity in their village of origin.

- Tanzania’s telecom operator Sasatel has embarked on a drive to establish a foothold in Internet market by targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which comprise the biggest chunk of the corporate sector. The telecoms company, which recently came up with the cheapest internet connection charges, is offering SMEs free internet connection for a week.

- In Namibia, the Agra Cooperative has started a new Internet service by offering livestock auctions online where bidders can buy animals at the click of a mouse - a first for Namibia. The Agra e-Auction service was launched last week and will save buyers and sellers time and money, not having to drive to and from auctions.

- Orange Uganda has introduced mobile internet services in the market. Orange will introduce the service powered by its Third Generation (3G) platform and a wireless mobile modem for Shs350, 000. The modem will come in handy with three months of unlimited internet access, according to information from Terp, the firm's external communications partner.

- An Internet service linking African parliaments will be created to enable MPs around the continent to share oversight experiences and views on matters of governance, says the speaker of the Egyptian parliament, Dr Ahmed Fathi Sorour. Sorour was attending the first African Parliamentary Speakers' Conference, organised by the Pan- African Parliament (PAP) in Midrand, Johannesburg, last week.

- Teraco Data Environments, South Africa’s first provider of vendor neutral data centres, announced today that it has become home to an open and public peering facility for network operators in this country, NAPAfrica. Initiated by a number of major industry players, NAPAfrica provides for a carrier neutral Layer 2 Internet exchange point (IXP) in the Southern African region, providing high-capacity multimegabit links (from Fast Ethernet to Gigabit Ethernet) between the various global and local network operators.

- Though various African countries monitor and restrict Internet access in some way, Ethiopia is the only country with a technical filtering regime in the sub-Saharan region, according to a report by OpenNet Initiative, a collaborative partnership between Harvard, Toronto, Cambridge and Oxford universities.