According to Kenya Power, the MoU will set the stage for the two firms to collaborate to implement a pilot fiber optic project aimed at providing Internet to homes through the electricity distribution network.
Safaricom, which has to date rolled out 3,200km of fiber reaching 7,000 homes, will lease additional broadband infrastructure built and owned by Kenya Power in order to roll out a “last mile” network, with the aim of connecting more homes to its broadband internet services.
According to Kenya Power’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Dr Ben Chumo, Kenya Power already owns and operates more than 4,000km in length of fiber optic cable network in Kenya, which it leases to the major telecom players in the country.
“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 fiber networks,” he added.
On its part, Safaricom through its CEO Bob Collymore said that the collaborative partnership will harness the strength of both partners to extend a new world of possibilities to their customers, in recognition of the transformative impact of the Internet.
“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 fiber optic cable grid,” he said.
The project targets more than 12,000 homes in a 12-month pilot to be carried out in residential areas in and around Nairobi.