The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) awarded a grant to the Nigerian communications services company Main One Cable Company Nigeria Ltd. (Main One), to support a feasibility study on the extension of a fiber optic network from Lagos, Nigeria to Port Harcourt, Nigeria. 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 approximately 4,500 miles and provides capacity for international and internet connectivity. Access to the cable system at Port Harcourt, the center of Nigeria's oil and gas industry, will dramatically decrease 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.
"This project is an important example of Main One's commitment to bring high-speed broadband access to Africa," stated Paul Marin, Regional Director for sub-Saharan Africa. "We are proud to be supporting Main One in their efforts to provide the infrastructure for broad-based economic growth in Nigeria."
Funke Opeke, CEO of Main One stated " We are appreciative to the USTDA for this important grant towards furthering the development of broadband services and thus 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 by Funke Opeke for Main One at the residence of the Consul General.
The opportunity to conduct the USTDA-funded feasibility study will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. A link to the FBO announcement will be posted to USTDA's website at www.ustda.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement.