Paratus Group’s DR Congo fibre highway goes live
Fast Congo, a joint venture of the Paratus Group and Global Broadband Solution, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), announced yesterday its 620-kilometre fibre optic network link between Muanda, on the West Coast, and the capital, Kinshasa, is now active.
The South African-headquartered Paratus Group announced expansion into the DRC last year, together with ISP Global Broadband Solution (GBS), after it secured the government tender to activate the 620km fibre optic network.
Paratus and GBS then established Fast Congo to deliver, operate and maintain the network link in an exclusive 15-year licence contract.
The fibre highway was originally funded by the World Bank following which, last year, the DRC government entity, Société Congolaise de Fibre Optique, announced that Fast Congo had won the tender to deploy, operate and maintain the fibre link.
Over the past few months, Paratus Group says Fast Congo has been installing the necessary infrastructure to connect the network, which is now live and fully operational.
By adding DRC to its network, Paratus group now boasts a footprint in Africa, which includes offices in seven SADC countries, five data centres (including the Google Equiano Cable landing station in Namibia), 6,000 VSAT terminals, an extended network through satellite connectivity-focused service in more than 37 African countries, and international points of presence in the UK, Europe and the USA.
The inauguration event for the new DRC fibre route took place on Thursday in Kinshasa.
“This is a major milestone in delivering high-quality and high-capacity network services in the DRC.We are uniquely placed to connect the country to Angola and Zambia and beyond through our network in southern Africa,” said Schalk Erasmus, Paratus Group CEO.
The event was attended by several delegates from the DRC government, along with executives from GBS and Paratus Group.
GBS CEO, Hassan Yahfoufi, commented: “The new network will unlock huge economic potential in the region. For the moment, we’re only offering wholesale connectivity solutions, and this will enable other operators to offer high-speed fibre connectivity to businesses and consumers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, providing them with limitless opportunities to connect with anyone across the continent and globally.”
The activation of the Paratus Group fibre comes as efforts to close the digital divide in DRC have accelerated with more investments coming into the country.
A fortnight ago, European Investment Bank (EIB) unveiled a bold plan to connect more than two million people in the DRC.
The EIB is partnering with wholesale telecom infrastructure provider, Bandwidth and Cloud Services, to roll out new infrastructure in the DRC, and enable high-speed internet coverage.