By PRINCE OSUAGWU
Cable company,Main One, last week received a major grant by the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to support a feasibility study on the extension of a fiber optic network from Lagos to Port Harcourt.
Although the company is reluctant to ex[pose the value of the grant, Hi-Tech gathered that the grant will enable Main One to evaluate the technical and financial feasibility of extending approximately 300 miles of undersea fiber optic cabling and supporting infrastructure between two of Nigeria’s most important commercial centers.
The new investment will connect Port Harcourt to the existing Main One cable system, which spans 4,500 miles and provides capacity for international and local internet connectivity.
Access to the cable system at Port Harcourt, is expected to lower the costs of bandwidth and enable the growth of businesses and consumers using telecom services in the region.
The feasibility study will include an assessment of cable installation techniques and a recommendation for the cable route, an assessment of potential long-term maintenance hazards to the cable, and a detailed demand assessment for the extension. The U.S Consul General, Jeffrey Hawkins, on behalf of the USTDA Regional Director for sub-Saharan Africa, Mr Paul Marin, said that “this project is an important example of Main One’s commitment to bring high-speed broadband access to Africa. We are proud to be supporting Main One in their efforts to provide the infrastructure for broad-based economic growth in Nigeria.”
An elated CEO of Main One, Ms Funke Opeke, reacted that “MainOne appreciates the USTDA for this important grant aimed at furthering the development of broadband services and economic development in the oil-producing Niger Delta region”.
The grant was signed by the U.S. Consul General Jeffrey Hawkins on behalf of USTDA and Funke Opeke for Main One, at the residence of the Consul General.