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Paratus, Meta sign fibre deal for Zambian towns

Paratus Zambia, of the pan-African telco Paratus Group, and Meta announce an investment to build a 900km open access metro fibre network in Zambia to improve high-quality connectivity in under-served communities in 10 Zambian cities and towns.

Paratus Zambia will own, build and operate the network to provide wholesale services to mobile network operators and internet service providers. The build will create about 500 jobs for local communities, enhance Paratus' infrastructure and help them provide more affordable services and improved coverage. The network will also connect to the Paratus carrier-neutral data centre in Lusaka, where Paratus can serve local businesses directly with high-quality connectivity.

This first phase will bring fibre to six cities by January 2023. The second phase will connect four towns before the end of 2023.

Paratus Zambia MD Marius van Vuuren says work has already started. “We aim to complete the first 280km by November and activate it by early January.”

Van Vuuren continues: “This is a significant relationship for Paratus not only because of its importance to the Zambian economy, but also because we will be helping to provide millions of people and hundreds of businesses with the opportunity to connect to the internet via a faster and more secure fibre network.”

According to Paratus Group CEO, Schalk Erasmus: “This intervention is very much aligned with Paratus' strategy to transform Africa through exceptional digital infrastructure and customer service. We have already made significant investments in our Zambian network, such as our fibre link from Lusaka to Chirundu and our own state-of-the-art data centre in Lusaka to house content locally. We are also working on a parallel project to link the metro networks to various towns and cities in Zambia. We are very proud that Meta has recognised this pledge and is supporting us with this investment.”

Nomonde Gongxeka-Seopa, Head of Public Policy, Southern Africa, Meta added: “These metro networks are critical to building digital communities and helping businesses evolve, particularly in under-connected communities. Paratus has already built fibre in many parts of Zambia and this relationship will help extend their good work. It’s good news for Zambia.”

Towns where the metro fibre will be available:

1. Kitwe

2. Ndola

3. Livingstone

4. Chingola

5. Chililabombwe

6. Solwezi

7. Chambishi

8. Kabwe

9. Luanshya

10. Mufulira

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