Ethiopia has contracted a US technology firm to link its schools by satellite at a cost of 25 million dollars, the firm said Sunday. Hughes Network System (HNS) will install the satellite link to increase access to education for the country’s 28.7 million children, HNS said in a statement. During the first phase the contractor will set up a directway satellite network and a national distance learning system in the Horn of Africa country, the statement said. The network’s installation is expected to be completed by the end of 2004.
In addition to linking Ethiopian schools, ETC will utilize the DIRECWAY network to provide a wide range of value-added applications, including video conferencing, distance learning, Internet/intranet access and VoIP voice solutions, to a variety of government, private enterprise and financial customers.
Given the limited municipal infrastructure that exists in some areas of Ethiopia, many of the remote terminals will be powered by solar energy, capitalizing on a resource that is abundant in Ethiopia – sunshine.
Ethiopia has limited landline telephone communications, with more than 60 percent of the functioning lines located in the capital Addis Ababa, according to International Telecommunications Union (ITU) estimates.