High-speed internet is coming to Congo this year.
The Steering Committee of the Central African Backbone (CAB) project announced this past January that a 550km network of fibre optic cables will be completed by the end of 2018. These cables will interlink with those in Cameroon and the Central African Republic as part of the CAB.
The CAB aims to build high-speed internet infrastructure across Central Africa, with completion of the entire network scheduled for the end of 2019. The project will be funded by the World Bank and the African Development Bank and aims to enhance telecommunications and internet-related services across the region.
Slow and costly internet access has been a problem across Central Africa for several years. On average, consumers in the region incur monthly bills up to three times that of countries in other continents. Terrestrial fibre optic cables, such as those envisioned by the CAB project, alleviate this problem by providing interconnections with intercontinental high-capacity submarine fibre optic networks.
The modern Web is not like it was in the 1990s. In 1995, the average webpage one would visit would require about 14.1KB of data to download to produce a rendered website in a browser window. In 2016, the average webpage had ballooned to 2.39MB of data, more than 165 times the size of its mid-90s predecessor. That figure can go much higher, with some news websites with embedded multimedia towering at 500 times the size of the small 1995 webpage.
Bandwidth and download / upload connection speeds become even more important when users undertake video calling, cloud-based document editing, movie and music streaming, or play online video games. Without access to cost-effective and high-speed internet, entire realms of productivity during the workday and personal interconnection during free time are closed off.
The completion of the CAB will thus enhance existing businesses and create a plethora of new economic opportunities across Central Africa. Business teleconferences via high-definition video calling will become more viable. Creative entrepreneurs seeking to highlight a country's cultural production can consider developing a movie streaming service highlighting Central Africa's rich cultural history. Teenagers will form bonds with youth their age across the world in massively-multiplayer online games and social networks.
The team at John W Ffooks & Co prides itself on a strong background in telecommunications and information technology law, as well as general corporate law. If you are thinking about a business venture to get ahead of the curve on the modernization of telecommunications across Central Africa, please get in touch.
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