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Fixed-line operator Algerie Telecom has signed a commercial partnership with France’s Alcatel to expand and update service provision to the operator’s corporate clients. The agreement follows the award in May of a multi-million dollar contract to Alcatel to expand Algerie Telecom’s broadband network, install 130,000 lines in the third quarter of 2006 and assist in the future installation of 170,000 lines. At under 2 per cent, Algeria has one of the lowest internet penetration rates in the region and the government has identified the extension of internet services to the population as a key goal of its telecoms programme (MEED 12:05:06).