Benin’s government officially launched the ‘PDI2T’ project to develop telecoms and ICT infrastructures on 17 October, Agence Ecofin reported. At the launch ceremony, Rafiatou Monrou, the minister for digital economy, presented some of the goals of the project, which was initiated twelve months ago, largely aimed at increasing internet/data capacity for ISPs/telecoms operators. 974km of optical fibre backbone is being added to an existing 1,060km network, to connect 67 communities ‘with a capacity ranging from 40Gbps to 800Gbps’. Additionally, metropolitan fibre infrastructure is being upgraded, adding 196km of fibre to the existing 22km Grand Nokoue metro fibre network, whilst deploying 34 fibre sharing points/nodes.
During the PDI2T launch ceremony, state-run Benin Telecoms Infrastructures (BTI) managing director Djalil Assouma presented newly reduced 2017-2018 wholesale interconnectivity and capacity leasing tariffs. Charges for accessing the national capacity grid have been dropped by between 75% and 90%; IP transit charges on BTI’s Cotonou backbone fell by 73%-76%; fees to access international bandwidth on the SAT3 and ACE submarine cables decreased by 90%; and colocation fees at indoor and outdoor (e.g. on poles/pylons) locations dropped by 25% to 30%.