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Kenya Pipeline Company eyes piece of Internet market pie in move towards diversification

BUSINESS
By Frankline Sunday | August 7th 2015

Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) could soon start providing internet services as it looks to diversify its offering across multiple ventures. The company plans to ride on the existing infrastructure to construct its own fibre optic network.

The fibre cable running from Mombasa to Nairobi will be used for the firm’s internal connectivity needs with the rest of the capacity sold to the public.

In a paid-up advertisement in the press yesterday, the State corporation has invited suitable bidders to provide a feasibility study into the legal, technical, environmental and economical viability of the project.

“The company has embarked on a strategy to venture into broadband data business as a means of leveraging on the existing right of way,” the notice read in part.

“Kenya pipeline is currently laying a ‘96No. Cores fibre optic cable’ from Mombasa to Nairobi. The cable laying is expected to be completed in 2016.” The cable will place KPC in direct competition with other local and international Internet service providers like Safaricom, Liquid Telcom, Jamii Telkom and Access Kenya.

Fibre optic

Kenya Pipeline Company is the latest in a slew of state infrastructure companies that have expressed interest to deploy fibre optic cables in the recent past.

State power distributor, Kenya Power, was issued with a Network Facility Provider - Tier 2 Licence by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), four years ago and has since developed a telecommunications business unit, “U-Telco” for its fibre optic business.

The company is similarly riding on the existing extensive power transmission and distribution network it has across the country to roll out its service.

Kenya Power states since the launch of U-Telco, it has signed lease agreements with a number of service providers including Safaricom, Airtel, Liquid Telecom Ltd, Jamii Telecommunications, Indigo Telecommunication Ltd and Wananchi Telecom Ltd.

Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd is also actively engaged in fibre optic cabling for both public and private deployment.

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