By Darlington Gatsi
LOCAL Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) company Dandemutande has embarked on an ambitious project of rolling out internet fibre in an effort to enhance internet connectivity in the country.
The investment dovetails Government’s policy of transforming Zimbabwe’s digital connectivity towards the attainment of vision 2030 with ICT infrastructure being at the backbone of the economy.
The project will witness Dandemutande partnering Fiber Connections, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bandwidth and Cloud Services Group (BCS Group) in constructing the fire infrastructure.
Dandemutande chief executive officer Never Ncube said the latest project will be rolled out in two stages.
“We have made an investment of US$5 million for the backhaul and will invest about US$3 million in metro fibre in cities that the backhaul is passing through to modernise and upgrade our network thereby ensuring that the platform is future-ready to meet customer needs.
“This speaks volumes of our commitment to providing our customers with superior connectivity solutions throughout the country. We will split the project into two phases, the first phase being the 531km of optic fibre from Beitbridge-Somabhula- Bulawayo which was launched in December 2022 with the Victoria Falls leg and the second phase being the 360 km of optic fibre between Somabhula and Harare will
be completed by the end of February this year”, said Ncube.
Dandemutande and BCS Group are jointly building a long-haul fiber optic backbone of approximately 891km along the Beitbridge – Harare railway network through this venture.
This initiative is peculiar as the internet provider will construct fibre along the railway lines a shift away from rolling it along the roads.
With this initiative the company aims to expand its footprint in the country thereby bridging the digital divide by providing connectivity seamlessly.
Last year minister of ICT Jenfan Muswere revealed that more than half of the country’s population has no access to internet connection which has been attributed to poor infrastructure and under investment into the niche.
“What it does is augment whatever infrastructure that has been built because it provides additional redundancy.
“So now you have an option of having some of the traffic that is on the road and some on the rail. So now with this infrastructure on the rail it actually provides a divers all together.
“In terms of maintenance there are going to be teams that are actually going to be solely focused in maintainance,” said Ncube.