The Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) has entered into a partnership agreement with CSquared, a broadband infrastructure provider, for the lease of its excess fibre capacity to mobile network operators and internet service providers in the country.

GRIDCo uses an Optical Ground Wire System (OPGW), which protects the transmission system against lightning strikes, and the OPGW could be utilised as fibre for communication purposes.

The agreement will enable the deployment of broadband infrastructure to deliver high-speed data services to businesses and homes, with a particular focus on remote areas of Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and other underserved areas.

It is also expected to enhance the country’s journey towards achieving its digital transformation agenda.

According to the chief executive of GRIDCo, Jonathan Amoako-Baah, the partnership provides an attractive alternative revenue source for GRIDCo and gives CSquared new opportunities to drive its digital transformation in the West African market.

Since it started as a project within Google in 2011, CSquared aimed to build metropolitan fiber optic networks, which would be leased by operators and ISPs on a wholesale model, and to act as a neutral operator of shared infrastructures.

The long-term vision for Google was to increase internet penetration in sub-Saharan Africa and also to reduce internet access costs.

CSquared is now an independent company of which Google is a shareholder. It currently owns and operates over 890 km of metropolitan fiber in Kampala and Entebbe in Uganda; more than 1070 km of fiber in three cities in Ghana; and 180 km in Monrovia, Liberia.

For the Ghana project, CSquared plans to deliver customer and technical support, network security and last-mile connectivity to ensure safer and faster experience to customers and, of course, to improve internet broadband access and enhance internet affordability in line with the government's digitization agenda.

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