Photo: Reuters

Photo: Reuters

A 775 km rural fibre-optic backbone network, connecting Ghana’s rural areas and major towns, to expand communication access, has been completed, Alcatel-Lucent announced on Tuesday.

The Eastern corridor rural fibre-optic backbone project, designed and deployed by Alcatel-Lucent, served major towns such as HO, Kpando, Jasikan, Nkwanta, Bimbila, Yendi, Tamale, Gushiegu and Bawku, in addition to 23 smaller communities.

A 2012 agreement saw Alcatel-Lucent and the National Information Technology Agency (Nita) – the information and communication technology policy arm of Ghana’s Ministry of Communications – teaming up to provide communication links between Ghana’s coastal line and northern boundary to Burkina Faso.

“[The new eastern corridor optical backbone network] will help us to bridge the digital divide between rural and urban locations and create employment, allowing us to take an important step toward realising the vision of giving our people access to a range of critical services how and when they need them,” said Nita director-general William Tevie.

The Danish International Development Agency-financed optical backbone improved high-speed data and communications links for central and regional administration offices, in support of the national e-Ghana Programme initiative, while enabling improved business efficiencies, the company said in a statement.

“[It] offers a great number of direct socioeconomic benefits for the communities within the catchment areas of this project. It will, for example, attract new business, offer teaching and learning opportunities, as well as telemedicine and new e-health services,” he added.

Alcatel-Lucent would provide computing, storage and helpdesk infrastructure for two data centres; a performance management and rating system; and an e-learning management system.

Further, the company would manage network operations for Ghana’s e-government infrastructure until 2016.