Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) has launched a fibre optic cable as it looks to increase its revenue streams.
This is a diversification from its core business of receiving, transporting, storing and delivering refined petroleum products both locally and within the region.
The fibre optic cable will run alongside the oil pipeline from Mombasa to Nairobi, through Nakuru to Eldoret and Kisumu.
The ICT Cabinet Secretary Mr Joe Mucheru who presided over the launch in Nairobi yesterday lauded KPC for the move, saying the firm is laying a key foundation for others to emulate as the country races to boost its digital offerings.
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“I urge other companies like Kenya Power and Ketraco who have the ‘right of way’ to venture into fibre optic cable laying to improve the country’s internet infrastructure at zero cost,’’ said Mucheru.
KPC Managing Director Macharia Irungu said the launch is aimed at improving the internal communication infrastructure of the country. “Diversifying into the data communication sector will create a new revenue stream, and utilise technology as a business driver for both ourselves and our customers,’’ said Mr Irungu.
He said the launch is also re-affirming their commitment to boost data delivery and support the government’s agenda of ‘Internet Mashinani.’
The firm targets telcos such as Safaricom, Airtel, Jamii Telco Ltd among others for lease of last-mile delivery to the customer.
KPC Board Chairperson Rita Okuthe said the fibre optic cable is less prone to interruption.
‘‘This in turn will lead to uninterrupted internet supply to their customers and thus reliable,’’ she said.
Energy Cabinet Secretary Amb Monica Juma challenged KPC to cut for itself a sizable share of the market while Communications Authority of Kenya Director General Ezra Chiloba said the Internet will be the answer to many things.
‘‘Connectivity has become a basic need for our own survival as a society. So far, when it comes to voice and connectivity of 3G and 4G network, at least 96 per cent of Kenyans have that connectivity,” said Chiloba.
The cable will have a life span of 25 years and will be available on a contract basis for five, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years respectively.
KPC will charge Sh2, 508 per kilometre in addition to a Sh22,800 installation fee per site.