Sayed Ahmad Shah Sadaat, acting Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MoCIT), on Friday said a fiber optic cable network project will connect Afghanistan to China through Wakhan port.
He said once the project has been launched, Afghanistan stands to earn up to $60 million USD annually by being a conduit for China’s data to countries around the world.
According to Sadaat, nearly 480km of fiber optic cable will connect Afghanistan to China’s fiber optic network and the project will be completed by 2018.
“Afghanistan’s direct connection to China’s fiber optic network is very important for us and we will be able to buy internet services at a cheaper price,” said Sadaat.
The fiber optic cable project manager, Ikramuddin, meanwhile said the project will cost $50 million USD and will be paid for through aid provided by the World Bank.
“It is very difficult to cross the cable through this way (Wakhan port), but the project is funded by the World Bank and up to $50 million USD is allocated for this project,” said Ikramuddin.
According to Ikramuddin, good internet services at cheaper prices and promoting internet services in 34 provinces of the country are other benefits of expanding the fiber optic network.
Reports say that currently Afghanistan has been connected to five neighboring countries through fiber optic networks, but technical problems in Afghanistan are blamed for slow internet services and high consumer prices.