(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Work on the 500 million regional cable network (RCN) project is under way and the network is expected to be launched during the third quarter of this year, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology.
"All is going as planned regarding the implementation of the project," Haitham Qaisi, the ministry's spokesperson, said this week.
The project, which started in late 2010, is being implemented by seven ICT operators from Jordan, Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the UAE and entails the construction of the Middle East's longest redundant terrestrial communications infrastructure along a 7,750-kilometre round trip route.
The cable network extends from the city of Fujairah in the UAE to Istanbul in Turkey and onward to Europe and will serve as a gateway to Internet for two billion people, according to the consortium of the seven companies.
"The launch of the cable will play a major role in reducing disruptions in Internet service that users sometime face," Qaisi told The Jordan Times.
"Usually, when there are cuts in marine cables providing Jordan with Internet, the service is disrupted. The RCN will help address this problem," he said, adding that the project will also help enhance Jordan's position as an ICT hub in the Middle East.
"With the launch of the cable, Jordan will have more redundancy and Internet capacity, which helps attract investments," he said.
In engineering, redundancy refers to the duplication of critical components in a system, usually to ensure that the system keeps working if one component fails.
According to the Jordan Telecom Group, Jordan has five international Internet cables.
The project is being implemented by a consortium of Etisalat (UAE), Mobily (Saudi Arabia), Jordan Telecom/Orange Jordan, Mada-Zain Partnership (Jordan), Syrian Telecommunications Establishment (Syria), and Superonline (Turkey).
Of the total length of the cable, about 10 per cent will be inside Jordan's borders.
Telecom experts said in previous interviews with The Jordan Times that the new cable would help "reduce prices and Internet disruptions for Internet users".