State-owned fibre backbones: broadband catalysts, or white elephants?

The weight of governments in the African terrestrial fibre business is increasing. African government have committed around $1.7bn to building fibre backbone networks since 2010, according to data from our new terrestrial fibre report. In many markets, the government is the largest holder of terrestrial fibre capacity, a trend that carries significant implications as Africa seeks to enter the 4G and 5G eras. Is this a sustainable solution to reducing Africa’s growing urban/rural broadband divide? It’s complicated.

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