By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
ZIMBABWE telecoms parastatal, TelOne on Wednesday commissioned a novel fibre optic link connecting Makuti and Chirundu.
The project was completed at a cost of US$1, 5 million.
ICT, Posts and Courier Services minister, Jenfan Muswere officiated at the unveiling event in Makuti.
The top government official said the Makuti-Chirundu fibre optic link was part of government’s thrust to upgrade and modernise communications infrastructure in order to cut the connectivity costs of both data and voice calls.
“This project is part of the government’s efforts to upgrade and modernise communications infrastructure, thereby reducing the connectivity costs of both data broadband and voice.
“The government will be able to provide citizens with affordable internet and create business opportunities along the way,” said Muswere.
The commissioning of the Makuti-Chirundu link follows that of Beitbridge-Masvingo link last year.
The minister said the mega project was undoubtedly set to have a far-reaching impact towards the attainment of the ambitious Vision 2030, by which time the country hopes to have become an upper-middle class economy.
TelOne acting managing director, Lawrence Nkala said the link connects Zimbabwe with neighbouring countries, such as South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana and Zambia and would provide transit service that enables SADC member countries going all the way to Angola to connect to the whole world.
He was confident the project was a game-changer.
Said Nkala, “The project is set to solidify TelOne’s position as a reliable carrier-grade service provider to both local and international markets.
“The link also gives the company capacity to carry domestic traffic for all players in Zimbabwe and transit traffic across to Zambia and beyond, thereby present an opportunity to generate foreign currency.”
TelOne, Nkala said, is on a drive to improve overall business performance, through setting up super-high-speed highways, inorder to enhance client experience in terms of service provision and deployment of new technologies.
Minister of State for Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, hailed the unveiling of the Harare-Makuti- Chirundu backbone fibre link saying it would facilitate the delivery of efficient communication in the country in general.
The project, wholly funded by TelOne, was executed by local contractors under the supervision of the firm’s engineers and created 850 downstream jobs.