Qatar Aims to be Tech Superpower

Qatar wants to build a knowledge-based economy. It's ploughing billions into education and research, especially technology, and its fiber optic info superhighway goes live in September.

What's the Latest Development?

It's fabulously rich thanks to huge gas reserves but Qatar wants to diversify with a knowledge-based economy, particularly in the field of technology. A key step is its information superhighway—the brand new fiber optic cable will go live in September, giving consumers speeds that may reach 10G per second. "It's like jumping from a horse and getting straight into a Ferrari," said Bassam Al-Ibrahim, co-founder of The aim is for 95% of the country to have broadband access by 2015.

What's the Big Idea?

Stephanie Hancock writes that the key will be "persuading Qataris to become producers of original web content, rather than just more efficient consumers. This requires innovation—which no amount of money can buy. But people here are confident the young generation will step up to the challenge."

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