By Abigail Mawonde
Government yesterday pledged more access to Internet by Zimbabweans, including those living in marginalised communities. Addressing a World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) underway in Geneva, Switzerland, Secretary for Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security Engineer Samuel Kundishora said as part of that effort, Government had introduced community information centres across the country.
“To date, over 150 community information centres have been established in the marginalised areas to ensure that all Zimbabweans have equal access to Internet services in line with the sustainable development goals,” he said.
Reports from Switzerland indicate that there was interest from participants at the summit in the community information centres Zimbabwe was rolling out countrywide.
Eng Kundishora said the country’s Internet penetration rate was pleasing.
“As it stands, our Internet penetration rate is now at 102 percent and there are a lot of Government initiatives we have implemented to enable this,” he said.
“In terms of geographical coverage for 2G, we have thus far achieved 78 percent coverage and our target is 87 percent by 2020.
“The remaining 13 percent of geographical Zimbabwe is reserved for national parks and is, of necessity, only covered by satellite. Our 3G coverage is at 70 percent and we have achieved this figure through the implementation of 3G in bands below 1GHz, that is, in the 900MHz.
“Likewise, LTE is coming up and we hope to accelerate the coverage through the release of the digital dividend, that is spectrum in the 700 and 800MHz band.”
The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has been in an aggressive drive to provide access to Internet by the majority of Zimbabweans.
Eng Kundishora, who is heading the delegation, is accompanied by the Potraz director general Dr Callisto Machengete.