South Sudan’s Minister of Telecommunication and Postal Services, Rebecca Joshua, has said that the country aims to connect to an international fibre-optic cable system through Eritrea, Ethiopia or Kenya within the next year, local news source Radio Tamazuj reports. During a speech at the opening of a new ministry building, the minister said the move would bring high speed internet to the country, adding that ‘once installation is complete, all government ministries, departments and agencies from the national to the state level will have reliable internet communications.’ She also revealed that the government is seeking to establish a National Communications Authority (NCA) to oversee the telecoms sector, adding that candidates are currently being recruited to lead the new regulator. At the same event, President Salva Kiir said the government is committed to ‘ensuring the provision of universal and affordable services to all South Sudanese … Our priorities in this regard is to devise a national optical fibre cable linking all the state capitals and other major towns … The government has formed a national committee to speed up the process of designing and building the national backbone through the competitive selection of qualified global private sector partners.’ Landlocked South Sudan currently has no connection to international fibre-optic cables, as previous efforts to extend beyond the border into Uganda were put on hold by the civil war; the country currently has to rely on slow and expensive satellite links for international bandwidth.
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