Kenya Pipeline diversifies into fibre optic cable business

The Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC), the parastatal mandated to transport petroleum products from the Mombasa port to all parts of the country, and part of East Africa is branching into the fibre optic business.

The diversification into internet services is an effort to expand its revenue streams, as the state corporation hopes to leverage on its experience in delivering to Kenya’s hinterlands. The company will use its existing infrastructure as the foundation for its ICT business.

KPC Managing Director Macharia Irungu says that this move will boost the government’s agenda to push internet connectivity everywhere in the country.

“Just like in the pipeline business where we enable economic growth through fueling the economy, through fiber optics, we are enabling internet connectivity in support of the Government’s agenda of ‘Internet Mashinani’,” he said.

KPC obtained a tier 2 licence from the Communications Authority in 2018 and now joins 22 other providers under the same provision.

“Through the dark fiber carrier-of-carriers’ business, we seek to spur change in the industry landscape for our customers, Government institutions,  three international data & voice gateway providers as well as other tech-oriented corporates,” The MD said.

Presiding over the event in Nairobi,  Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Joe Mucheru commended KPC for the new venture and urged other players to join the race.

“We can’t have too much of fibre in the country, and so this working together is really good because it’s helping ensure that the country grows,” He said, “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.’’

The cable laid by Kenya Pipeline has a life span of 25 years and users. The company will charge Sh2, 508 per kilometre in addition to a Sh22,800 installation fee per site. Telcos and ISP providers who want to use this infrastructure will sign contracts running for a duration of 5,10,15, 20, and 25 years.

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Simon W Nderitu

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