Aug. 18 (UPI) — The government of Tanzania announced it has installed high-speed internet services on Mount Kilimanjaro.
The broadband network provided by state-run Tanzania Telecommunications Corp. was set up Tuesday at an altitude of more than 12,000 feet above sea level, with plans to extend coverage to Uhuru Peak, which rests more than 19,000 feet above sea level, before the end of the year.
“Today up on Mount Kilimanjaro: I am hoisting high-speed INTERNET COMMUNICATIONS (BROADBAND) on the ROOF OF AFRICA,” Tanzania’s information minister Nape Nnauye said in a tweet. “Tourists can now communicate worldwide from the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.”
The broadband access will allow tourists climbing the mountain to share photographs on social media and make SOS calls during an emergency.
“Previously, it was a bit dangerous for visitors and porters who had to operate without internet,” Nnauye said.
Mount Kilimanjaro — the Earth’s largest free-standing volcanic mass — joins the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest in the Himalayas, which already had Internet access.
On Tuesday, Nnauye called on Tanzania Telecommunications Corp. to expand broadband connections to other off-grid tourist locations and national parks.
While many praised the move as a boon to Tanzania’s tourism industry, which accounted for about 6% of the nation’s gross domestic product in 2021, others said the government should have focused on improving internet services in major commercial centers and expanding access to remote villages and towns.