Kenya revises fibre rollout target


Fibre connectivity

from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya Bureau
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – KENYA believes an ambitious target to roll out 100 000 kilometres of optical fibre to under-served areas  in five years could now be attained with the next two years.

This follows the government ditching the customary method of laying cables on the ground but instead utilising existing infrastructure of the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) parastatal.

Fibre cables would thus run alongside power lines.

“We have now changed the model,” Eliud Owalo, the Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communications and the Digital Economy, said.

“As opposed to digging down the ground to lay fibre, we have engineered our model through a partnership between our ministry and the KPLC, where we are now going to leverage on the infrastructure of the KPLC to roll out the fibre.”

“If we go that route, which is now work in progress, it is our estimation that as opposed to the five years within which we are envisaged to roll out 100 000km, we will now be able to roll out the 100 000km of fibre within the next two years,” Owalo said.

“If there is last mile connectivity of electricity therefore, we equally will be able to have last mile connectivity of fibre in Kenya up to the individual household,” he said of areas that rely on last mile-coverage in terms of power connectivity.

Owalo was speaking at the two-day Digital Transformation in East Africa conference ending on Friday (today) at the Aga Khan University in Nairobi.

He disclosed that since the resumption of the fibre rollout last year, 10 000km has been laid, by Nia Fibre, which has been contracted by the government.

Owalo also revealed the government had embarked on a process of rolling out 25 000 WiFi hotspots countrywide. Our target in the initial stages is the markets and bus termini.

“The markets are where our mothers and sisters who are involved in trade are domiciled. We want to leverage technology to change our markets into digital marketplaces.”

– CAJ News

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