Egypt, as one of the largest telecom markets in Africa and the Arab world, has all the potentials and the necessary assets to surge in the digital era. The national telecom market is highly dynamic and is characterized by a sustainable and steady growth in the demand for various telecom services in general and Broadband services in specific. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), through its regulatory arm, the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) launched the “eMisr National Broadband Plan” in 2011.
The plan was revised in 2014. The eMisr National Broadband Plan is committed to increasing broadband Internet penetration in Egypt and endorsing the development of a digital society. It proposes different strategic directives to meet Egypt’s broadband service needs. eMisr National Broadband Plan aims to position Egypt as a leader in digital communications, create more job opportunities and promote the use of ICTs across government sectors, thus improving quality of life for citizens and reducing the digital divide between urban and rural communities. NTRA announced a tender for the Broadband pilot project in 2014.The project aims to provide high speed broadband service for around 1600 institutions affiliated to eight ministries and government bodies including Ministries of Education, Health, Youth, Scientific Research, Justice, Agriculture, Manpower and Civil Aviation. This is in addition to the Public Prosecution, the central administration for the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, and the Information Technology Institute (ITI).
The project‘s scope is to provide and maintain high speed Internet connectivity. It covers all Egyptian governorates clustered in five geographic regions. eMisr is the second initiative after the government’s broadband initiative in 2004, through which the number of broadband connections increased ten folds within four years and brought 24 Mbps ADSL2+ access to residential households. The broadband initiative made available higher speed connections to the Internet at affordable rates. It addressed issues related to wireless access, which relies heavily on broadband services, particularly in rural areas and new satellite cities where infrastructure is less developed than in urban areas.
eMisr National Broadband plan is based on three hubs: the first one is to provide the service to span a wide geographical area. The second hub is to increase the prevalence and use of the service, raising subscribers in the broadband services. The last hub is to provide citizens in disadvantaged areas with high-speed Internet access, and thus reducing the digital divide in Egypt.