Internet providers ‘to share infrastructure’

January 23, 2014
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Project Manager Andrew Lewela said they plan to have a separate entity work on laying the infrastructure through a Public Private Partnership then the data providers subscribe to it/CFM
Project Manager Andrew Lewela said they plan to have a separate entity work on laying the infrastructure through a Public Private Partnership then the data providers subscribe to it/CFM
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 23 – The ICT Authority says it is working on reviewing the National ICT Master Plan that will among other things compel Internet providers to share same infrastructure in efforts to bring down costs.

The authority’s Project Manager Andrew Lewela said they plan to have a separate entity work on laying the infrastructure through a Public Private Partnership then the data providers subscribe to it.

He said this will enable the operators get returns on their investments and give them time to focus on service delivery rather than spend time running physical networks.

“For example when the government builds a road, everyone uses it. From the pedestrian, trucks, matatus, motorcycles and others. But can you imagine if each had their own roads, it could be a bit chaotic. So this is the same case here,” Lewela said.

He said the infrastructure operator will be able to offer services to all the providers for a small fee to cover running costs hence bring down fees for the end user.

The cost of Internet connectivity at the moment remains high because the operators have to make profits and also incur the costs of maintaining their infrastructure.

Lewela said sharing of infrastructure for instance masts, will not only reduce the costs of connectivity, but also help penetrate various parts of the country.

“You know we now have the counties and this move really comes in handy. We need to ensure that every part of the country is connected not just the urban areas,” he said.

The Master Plan which is in line with the Vision 2030 is set to have all the government agencies fully go digital by April this year.

Lewela was speaking during the launch of Connected Kenya Summit 2014, which is expected to take place in April. The conference will be identifying the dead ends and pitfalls in ICT development agenda for the country and looking into ways of making progress in the national strategic projects.

The theme will be, ‘Breaking the Barriers’ which he said was inspired by the World Economic Forum agenda for 2014.

“The government is re-looking at national ICT projects with a view of making them more aligned to the country’s needs. After holding this event for the last five years, this will be an opportune time to reflect on the gains, barriers and challenges that the ICT industry continue to face,” ICT Authority Deputy CEO, Eunice Kariuki said.

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