Business Sector to Foot Bill for fibre infrastructure in Rwanda


The Minister in the office of the President in charge of Technology and Research, Professor Romain Murenzi, has said that the business sector will be required to pay a fee to access the new fibre infrastructure being built by the Government.

He was reacting to the uncertainty raised in a story published by Focus Newspaper on of whether the business sector would be included in the roll out of the fibre infrastructure being constructed by the Rwanda Information Technology Authority (RITA).

"They will be considered at a fee. The cost will depend on the traffic," Murenzi said in a phone interview with The New Times. He added that there would be more discussions on the issue after completion of the project. He, however, didn't rule out the possibility of subsidizing the fee.

The construction of the $7m fiber optic infrastructure to cover Kigali and the suburbs is underway and will later be extended to the rest of the country by 2009. The first project is expected to end by December and aims at improving connectivity for better communication and business.

"Our aim is for all Rwandans to have access to universal communication. You can be in Rusizi, study and get a Masters from abroad. It will change completely the way we live. It will be the backbone of communication," Murenzi underscored adding that the countrywide coverage of wireless broadband meant more business prospects for Rwanda. People can come and start a data centre in Rwanda. Business will have more stations upcountry with more people having access to information," the Minister explained.

The optic fiber project was initiated by the government in conjunction with RITA. It aims at increasing the speed at which data, voice and video is transmitted. The first phase that will cover 134km is already underway in the city where the optic fiber is already being laid.

The New Times