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Sierra Leone News: Fibre optic cable shoots off at Lungi

fibreThe fibre optic project that is set to ease the problems of Information Communications Technology (ICT) services in the country is speedily heading to its completion, following the official blowing of the fibre cable from Lungi Airport in Port Loko district, traversing communities throughout the north.
Officials of the Ministry of Information and Communications who witnessed the ceremony on Thursday, breathed a sigh of relief, considering the fact that the blowing of the fibre cable into the duct in that part of the country would mean a massive development in the ICT infrastructure.
The Ministry had contracted the service of Huawei Technologies; an acclaimed institution for fibre technology, to implement the project, spanning from Lungi, Port Loko, Lunsar, Makeni, Magburaka, Masingbi to Kono in the east of Sierra Leone; and from Makeni, Bumbuna to Ferengbeya which will cover a 400km distance.
Chief Technology Officer at the Ministry of Information and Communications, James Kanja Cobba, who is equally coordinating the National fibre backbone project, explained to the gathering that the blowing of the fibre cable is an important aspect of the project because the process, which normally takes place after civil work, guarantees the protection of the cables that are installed under the ground.
The project, he went on, is derived from a fifteen million dollar loan from Chinese Exim Bank to the Government of Sierra Leone, which is geared towards complementing the ECOWAS regional backbone network (ECOWAN) that starts from Jui in the Western Rural, going through Masiaka, Bo, Kenema to the Liberian border; and through the north to Gbalamuya in the Guinean border.
The Director of Communications at the Information and Communications Ministry, Bakarr Tarawally, buttressed that the fibre cable is being blown to the duct, using a pressure machine that is properly guiding and pushing the cable through the duct, and it will cover at least a 9km distance every day.
The Director said that at the moment, ICT and telephone service providers are using microwave links to enable access network to the people which, he explained, has its limitation in terms of weather and other natural factors. But with a fibre optic infrastructure in place, capacity and distance, as well as cost will be a great advantage.
The Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Theo Nicol, who launched the fibre blowing exercise said that after the government had landed the submarine network at Lumley in the West End of Freetown, they decided, as a Government, that there is need for a terrestrial network, so that the services at the submarine stations will not only benefit a few set off people particularly in the Western Area but the entire country.
This is why, he went on, the fibre project is being implemented right-through every part of the country.
The Minister advanced that the primary motive of the fibre optic project is to ensure that ICT services are reliable, accessible and affordable by everyone, and to a very large extent, contributes to the socio-economic development of the people and the country as a whole. At the end of the project, he maintained, all ICT and telephone service providers will be able to provide quality and affordable services for the entire populace of the country.
By Poindexter Sama
Monday April 13, 2015

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