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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 08:11, February 15, 2006
Ethiopian firm extends optical fiber telephone line to Sudan
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The extension of optical fiber telephone line, connecting Ethiopia and Sudan via the northern border town of Metema, has been launched, said the state-owned Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation (ETC) on Tuesday.

Kassahun Ayalew, ETC senior manager, said in a press release that the extension of the optical fiber telephone started on Tuesday following the completion of the 200 km tunneling work.

He said some 120 km of the 220 km Gonder-Metema-Gelabat optical fiber telephone line has been finalized so far.

The construction of 7 building blocks for power houses and control stations through the telephone line has also been completed, he said, adding that installation of the necessary equipment would be carried out within a week.

The government of Sudan would cover the cost of the extension of the 80 km optical fiber telephone line via the Metema-Gelabat route, the senior manager said.

The extension of the optical fiber line would enable Ethiopia access up-to-date telephone, data, and audio-video communications and curb congestions in web sites and internet lines, according to Kassahun.

The corporation has allotted over 6 million birr (693,642 U.S. dollars) for the extension of the optical fiber line, he said.

Ethiopia, one of the world's poorest and least-wired nations, wants to expand information and communication technologies coverage to the entire country in three years.

Ethiopia has a massive rural population of 57 million people, most of whom seek out an existence as subsistence farmers. Around half the population can't read or write, few have access to newspapers or phones and most have never used a computer.

Source: Xinhua

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