Canal Box Benin to offer internet via electricity provider’s network

28 Jan 2016

Canal+ in Benin has struck a deal to operate internet access services via the network of the Beninese Electric Power Company (SBEE), reports Agence Ecofin. A partnership agreement signed on 21 January 2016 provides for the operation of internet infrastructure by Canal Box Benin, the local subsidiary of the French-owned Canal+ pay-TV group, which TeleGeography notes is registered as a Beninese ISP under the name Espace Informatique Benin (EIT). The new internet service will initially be rolled out in Benin’s capital Cotonou, before a potential expansion to other areas, with the CEO of Canal+ declaring that: ‘Our ambition is to mesh the entire city of Cotonou, and gradually, a fibre-optic network that will enable end users to benefit from very high speed internet,’ whilst citing the example of successful powerline communications (PLC) internet services in Brazil as a precedent. Under the partnership, SBEE will receive fees for the use of its infrastructure, whilst the utility company says there are mutual benefits from the project including georeferencing its electricity poles and making the connection of customers easier.