State-owned telecommunications operator TelOne has completed the first phase of the National Broadband Project financed by the US$98 million China Eximbank facility.

The projects are part of the Chinese mega deals signed between President Robert Mugabe and Chinese President Xi Jinping in December 2015.

US$33 million was used in Phase One of the project to construct data centres in Harare and Mazowe, upgrade the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls microwave radio link, upgrade the Mutare-Harare- Bulawayo-Plumtree fibre optic link and acquiring a new billing system.

This emerged at the launch of the state-of-the-art data centre in Harare by the Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services Cde Supa Mandiwanzira.

“This is the first time that we have such a significant investment in data and cloud services,” said Cde Mandiwanzira.

The centre was built at a cost of US$4 million as a sub project of the National Broadband Project under the US$98 million China Eximbank facility.

The projects will enhance roll out of broadband, cloud and digital services in the face of declining voice revenues.

Completion of Phase One projects of the National Broadband Project which was granted national broadband status come at a time government is targeting 100 percent broadband access by the year 2020.