Liberia to get high-speed internet by October

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said late Monday the west African nation will get high-speed internet from October, as it connects to a fibre optic cable running along the west African coast.

She was speaking at a ceremony to open the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) terminal in Monrovia which hosts the submarine fiber optic cable system.

"We are now set to begin enjoying this high technology that will be functional in October this year because we have to wait for other West African states to get connected,"Sirleaf said.

Because of a long civil war which ended in 2003, Liberia was unable to join a pan-African wide effort to introduce fiber optic telecommunications in 1999.

A French ship arrived on the Liberian coast on November 3, 2010 with the fibre optic cable, two inches thick and 10,000 miles (17,000 kilometres) long that stretches from France to South Africa.

"When this becomes operational Liberians will have easy access to information in the world and this will enable them to easily disseminate information to the outside world. Those are the advantage of democracy," Sirleaf added.

The cable will connect 23 countries such as Sierra Leone, Gambia, Guinea and Angola, where sluggish internet access makes life difficult for workers.

"Our people complain every day about the difficulty to get internet connection. Some people have wait for more than an hour to access their inboxes," said Sirleaf, hailing the new network as "good news for all of us."

The ACE cable system is run by a consortium of telecom operators led by French Telecom.

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