Digital divide narrows

June 9, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Posted in B2C, Business Support, Economic Development, ICT, networking, Online Community | Leave a comment
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fibreFrance Telecom and 19 partners will invest 700 million dollars to bring high-speed Internet to 20 countries in western Africa, the company said in a statement yesterday.

The Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) fibre-optic cable will stretch 17 000 kilometres underwater from France to South Africa, and is slated to be completed in 2012.

It will connect 23 countries en route, including Spain and Portugal and countries along the western coast of Africa including Mauritania, Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Landlocked Mali and Niger will be connected by an overland cable.

France Telecom will contribute $250-million of the $700-million (R5.42-billion) cost of the project, according to the agreement.

“By signing this agreement, France Telecom-Orange is reinforcing its presence on the African continent and helping to reduce the digital divide in the region,” the company said in the statement.

The above reminds me that I have read some time in the past that Google and chosen partners were launching 4 satellites to provide land locked Africans’ access to the Internet.

Can anyone advise us whether this is happening and if so whether it will improve rural access to the Internet?

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