Safaricom, the largest integrated telecommunication service provider in Kenya, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Kenya Power, through its subsidiary Kenya Power International, that will see more Kenyans connected to broadband Internet.
The MoU will see the two firms implement a pilot fibre optic project aimed at providing Internet to homes via Kenya’s Power’s electricity distribution network.
Under the partnership, Safaricom 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.
“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 fibre networks,” said Dr. Ben Chumo, Kenya Power’s MD and CEO.
Dr. Ben also said that Kenya Power already owns and operates more than 4,000km in length of fibre optic cable network in Kenya, which it leases to the major telecom players in the country.
The collaboration between the two firms will provide valuable lessons into how to scale and speed up the connection of homes and small offices to broadband.
“This collaborative partnership harnesses the strength of both partners to extend a new world of possibilities to our customers, in recognition of the transformative impact of the Internet,” said Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom Limited.
He added, “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 fibre optic cable grid.”
Safaricom has to date rolled out 3,200km of fibre reaching 7,000 homes, and this strategic partnership will open up more opportunities for the company to provide its consumers with fast, reliable broadband services from the comfort of their homes.
The project targets more than 12,000 homes in a 12-month pilot to be carried out in residential areas in and around Nairobi.