Kenya calls for 100,000km public-private fibre network
The Kenyan government has started a project to build a 100,000km national fibre network.
The network is part of a US$600 million “digital highway project”, said Eliud Owalo (pictured), minister of ICT and the digital economy.
Owalo said: “We have already had meetings to discuss and agree on who is deploying which component of this fibre and we have come out of these meetings with resolutions as to the centres of responsibility for fibre deployment, including timelines, the objectives and everything that relates to them.”
According to reports, the government appears to have opted for a complex plan for the joint venture. Rather than one company that is 48% privately owned and 52% state owned, it wants the private sector to build 48,000km, with the state building the other 52,000km.
“We already have 13,000km” of the 48,000km, said Safaricom’s George Njuguna, director of ICT at the telco. Njuguna said Safaricom is supporting the project.
The government said it wants to rely on public-private partnerships to achieve its objectives quickly.
It said it is seeking to strengthen the national ICT backbone by extending fibre network coverage throughout the country, reducing the cost of internet connectivity and improving the provision of e-government services.
The administration wants to connect 40,000 schools and other educational institutions, 20,000 government institutions and 13,000 health establishments to the network.