Saturday, 5 November 2011

The Fibre Optic Cable Has Landed in Liberia

Contributed by Farzana Rasheed


The eagerly-anticipated fibre optic cable has finally landed in Liberia. This is an exciting moment for the country to say the least. This is the first public private partnership which made this happen. To read more about it, check out this article: "First Fibre Optic Cable System Lands Here." 

There's also a wikipedia article "Cable Consortium of Liberia". 

There are some photos posted on Facebook by Liberian Observer Online of the moment when the cable landed on Thursday, 3 November which was coincidentally the national Thanksgiving Day. 

Deployment of the fibre optic cable infrastructure in the country is going to take some time. There is also an assumption that the cable will immediately replace the current dependence on more expensive technologies such as V-SAT. Not only will it take time to deploy the fibre optic infrastructure but also given Liberia's lack of infrastructure outside of its main centre (Monrovia), connectivity will still depend largely on V-SAT and GSM technologies which are expensive. Of course, it also remains to be seen what kind of average costs broadband will have in Liberia. 

One of our colleagues and friends who is a V-SAT operator in Liberia was quite underwhelmed when discussing fibre optic cable. He told us that Nigeria has three of them and yet the V-SAT business is roaring there. 

So, it remains to be seen how the fibre optic cable will change the dynamics of the business environment in Liberia. Will V-SAT providers be driven into extinction? What business opportunities will be created for IT companies? How soon will the average entity or household in Liberia be connected to high-speed broad band internet?  What kind of prices will we see? And lastly, what will it be like to finally have high-speed (relatively) low-priced internet service?

Meanwhile, NATC is representing an international company that has submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI)  to Liberia Telecommunications Corporation (Libtelco) for the Liberia National Fibre Optic Project. Keeping our fingers crossed!

* Image from

1 comment:

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