Kenya Power International, a subsidiary of Kenya Power, is set to implement a pilot fibre optic projet in partnership with internet service provider, Safaricom Limited.

The objective under the Memorandum of Understanding is for the pilot project to provide more than 12,000 homes around Nairobi in a 12-month period to be able to access the internet through Kenya Power’s electricity distribution network, reports IT web AFRICA.

Kenya Power leases cable network

Kenya Power, having been issued with a Network Facility Provider – Tier 2 License by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), has fibre optic cable networks riding on the existing power transmission and distribution network across the country.

In a joint statement Kenya Power said: “The MoU sets the stage for the two firms to collaborate to implement a pilot fibre optic project aimed at providing internet to homes via Kenya’s Power’s electricity distribution network.”

CEO and managing director of the national electricity company Dr Ben Chumo noted that the utility already owns and operates more than 4,000km in length of fibre optic cable network in the country, which it leases to the major telecom providers.

“The agreement will promote development and improvement of additional telecommunications infrastructure for effective and efficient provision of telecommunications services to both public and private institutions through provision of adequate, reliable and competitively-priced fibre networks,” Chumo stated.

New world of possibilities

Expressing confidence in the project, Safaricom’s CEO Bob Collymore, said: “This collaborative partnership harnesses the strength of both partners to extend a new world of possibilities to our customers, in recognition of the transformative impact of the Internet.”

[quote]According to the media, Safaricom highlighted its milestones, stating that it has already rolled out 3,200km of fibre reaching 7,000 homes.

“By leveraging on Kenya Power’s electricity infrastructure we will not only be able to accelerate the rate of connection to homes, we will tackle challenges experienced in roll-out of broadband services and reduce the inconvenience caused to Kenyans when we are forced to dig trenches to lay the underground fibre optic cable grid.” Collymore noted.