At an event somewhere 12,000 feet above sea level, Tanzanian officials proclaimed to the world Tuesday that high-speed internet on Africa’s highest mountain would now be available to all.
Yes Kilimanjaro, the fourth highest mountain in the world, will now be the premiere destination for climbers looking to document their climb in real-time on social media thanks to high-speed connections provided by Tanzania’s state-run Tanzania Telecommunications Corp, as reported by CNN. This new development also answers the age-old question: “If I’m all alone on top of Kilimanjaro and don’t post a selfie on Instagram, did it even happen?”
In a tweet from Tanzania’s Information Minister Nape Nnauye, he stated that “Today Up on Mount Kilimanjaro: I am hoisting high-speed INTERNET COMMUNICATIONS (BROADBAND) on the ROOF OF AFRICA.” The tweet continued, “Tourists can now communicate worldwide from the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.”
During his press conference on the mountain, Nnauye said that the internet coverage only extends to Horombo Hut, which is around 12,200 feet (3,720 meters) above sea level. However, the plan is to have connectivity to the summit at Uhuru Peak, some 19,291 feet (5,880 meters) above sea level, by the end of the year.
Mountains of the Holy Land
“Previously, it was a bit dangerous for visitors and porters who had to operate without internet,” Nnauye said, according to The Washington Post. “All visitors will get connected … (up to) this point of the mountain,” he added, speaking about the Horomob Hut campsite where the conference was held.
According to The Guardian, Kilimanjaro is an important source of tourism revenue for the country and its neighbor Kenya, and the investment in high-speed internet on the mountain shows as much. Over 35,000 people try to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro each year.
Along with internet connection, Tanzanian officials announced earlier this year plans to build a cable car on the southern side of the mountain. A move met with dissatisfaction by climbers and environmentalists, according to The Guardian.