New Fiber Optic Line seeks to connect Kenya and South Sudan

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East Africa Community member states are working to build a harmonized ICT Framework with the aim of driving integration.The same was reaffirmed during the Connected East Africa Summit, where EAC members commenced deliberations on how to seal the gaps in ICT integration and shared infrastructure within the region. Among the main focus areas agreed upon was the Digital Migration, Broadband Strategies, Northern Corridor, fiber network and the Integration of National Backbones for harmonized ‘smart plans’.

In steps aimed at implementing the same,  Kenya and South Sudan will in the next two years be connected via Fiber Optic in a bid to enhance trade and connectivity. The governments of the two nations will implement the optic fiber cable system as part of the Eastern Africa Regional Transport, Trade and Development Facilitation Project. The project will extend fiber optic from Eldoret to Lodwar with the South Sudan government extending  it from the border town to the Capital Juba.

The Kenya ICT Authority is implementing the Kenyan-side of the project with the costs estimated to cost 25.5 million dollars,while the Sudan side is estimated to cost USD 15 million dollars. The project will also serve as a key aspect in the implementation of the last mile connectivity to county governments in remote areas such as Turkana. The ICT Authority plans to connect all 47 counties with fiber backbone by December 2015. The project has so far covered  28 towns and hopes at easing communication across counties as well as improving access to e-government services. The project was undertaken through the implementation of the national fiber backbone (NOFBI) at a cost of Kshs. 6 billion and once fully implemented will cover 2,100 kilometers.

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