The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) is leading in the construction of 15 base stations in rural areas to improve communications and access to e-learning for students in these communities during lockdown and the future.
Presenting before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committees on Education and Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), Postal and Courier Services on Monday, POTRAZ director general Dr Gift Machengete said POTRAZ will provide funds for passive infrastructure and shared transmission equipment through the Universal Services Fund (USF) while mobile operators will work on installing Radio Access Network (RAN) on every base station.
Dr Muchengete said e-services such as e-learning require good ICT infrastructure and hence the need to deploy shared base stations in rural areas.
“The scope of the project is to construct 15 base stations — passive infrastructure that includes towers, equipment shelters, guard rooms, perimeter fence, commercial power, solar power, diesel engine generators, power back-up batteries and access roads at the selected fifteen (15) USF sites.
Government aims at covering the digital gap between rural and urban areas exposed by the lockdown in March.
The digital gap caused many schools in poor rural communities to fail in accessing the e learning facilities due to lack of resources and infrastructure in their areas.