* Egypt drawing up $1 bln plan to boost broadband use
* Aims to increase connections 4-fold to 4 mln households
* New overseas cables to start operation H2 2010
CAIRO, Dec 15 - Egypt is working on a $1 billion plan that will include increasing broadband penetration fourfold in the next four years to 4 million households, Communications Minister Tarek Kamel said on Tuesday.
Egypt needs to invest $1 billion within the next four years for broadband penetration within a plan that I'm going to announce in the first quarter of 2010 for boosting access in Egypt, Kamel told reporters.
The country has been building up its broadband infrastructure to attract offshoring industries including call centres to take advantage of its relatively inexpensive and language-savvy workforce, including those in poorer regions.
Most of the investments, the billion dollars that I talked about within the next four years, will primarily go in local investment in increasing the local capacity, he added.
The investment would be in a combination of wireless, wired and mobile services in both rural and urban areas, Kamel said.
Egypt, with 77 million people, has invested in international broadband cables that will double or triple capacity coming into the country from the current 60 gigabits per second, he added. These will start coming on line in the second half of 2010.
We need to make sure that the broadband penetration is 20 percent of the population. So we need to increase from 1 million households to 4 million households, Kamel said. (Editing by Greg Mahlich)