Kenyan telecoms operator Safaricom has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with state-owned utility firm Kenya Power for the launch of a twelve-month fibre-optic pilot project that will initially see around 12,000 Nairobi households connected to the internet. The Daily Nation reports that, under the partnership, Safaricom will lease Kenya Power’s fibre infrastructure, which stretches 4,000km in total, to provide homes with last-mile broadband connections. Safaricom’s CEO Bob Collymore said the project would reduce the need to dig trenches to lay underground fibre-optic cables and further strengthen its capacity to provide faster, affordable and reliable broadband services. Safaricom already operates its own 3,200km fibre network, which reaches around 7,000 homes.
‘The agreement will promote the development and improvement of additional telecommunications infrastructure for effective and efficient provision of services to both public and private institutions through the provision of adequate, reliable and competitively priced fibre networks,’ commented Kenya Power’s CEO Ben Chumo. The company earned KES259.4 million (USD2.5 million) in the year ended 30 June 2015 from leasing out extra capacity on its fibre-optic network to customers including Wananchi Group, Liquid Telecom, Jamii Telecom and Airtel, and Kenya Power aims to grow this figure to KES1 billion by 2017.