Wetin We Dae Du

Broadband is established as one of the fastest growing new technologies in history; it has been described as “the oil of the modern economy.” By any measure, its growth in the last few years has been every bit as spectacular, and the pace is accelerating in Sierra Leone with increasing demand for more bandwidth to feed the growing appetite of the market.

But currently, all the service providers in Sierra Leone are offering broadband based internet via microwave requiring costly collocation with mobile operators which makes it very difficult to drive penetration and affordability – and therefore restrict future growth and penetration of broadband access.

Even though the availability of wholesale data has exponentially increased in the last five years, the current high cost for network operation makes the business model of broadband wireless at an affordable price almost impossible.

The sluggish market penetration has caused SALCAB to develop and work with a private ISP and EDSA to deploy GigaBit Open Access Network as shared service.

SALCAB approached EDSA with a proposal to ride on their poles/electricity distribution infrastructure to deploy GPON as open access shared service network nationwide rapidly. Afcom will be responsible for the technical implementation of the project. The deployment of GPON as an open-access network will be offered to all our existing and potential clients bundled with our Internet protocol transit. This infrastructure will accelerate internet penetration, offer higher speed and reduce the cost of network rollout and maintenance.

EDSA has awarded a provisional approval for the commencement of the project and last week SALCAB called a meeting with the two project partners (EDSA and Afcom) to finalise the implementation strategy of the project. At the meeting was the Chief Commercial Officer (Kumba Musa) and the Chief Technical Officer (Dennis Vandi) of SALCAB.

The partnership with EDSA is pivotal to the successful roll-out of the GPON Open Access Network and also our school connectivity project One Access. This project will also create a sustainable network service for other public and private sector and consumers and enable the diversification of the GDP from heavy dependency on agriculture to emerging streams like technology and telecommunication.

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