Utility company Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), has announced plans to lay up to 600km of additional fibre optic cables for lease to telecommunications firms as demand for internet connectivity has increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Business Daily, Kenya power will install the fibre optic cables below the high and medium voltage power lines.
The company uses the fibre optic cables to manage the national grid and leases the excess capacity to telecom operators such as Safaricom, Airtel Kenya, Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Jamii Telecommunications.
Kenya Power owns more than 4000km of fibre optic cable network and is currently looking for a contractor for the extension program which will take up to 36 months to complete.
A statement from the company said, “KPLC fibre optic cable network is growing at a very fast rate to meet internal primary telecommunication needs as well as to serve external customers who lease fibre capacity.”
“KPLC intends to extend its fibre optic cable network to its commercial centres and substations using all-dielectric self-supporting fibre optic cable for improved data connectivity and a small portion with optical ground wire,” added the statement.
According to tender documents seen, the fibre extension works have been divided into two lots.
The first lot targets 277.5 kilometres and will cover Coast, Nairobi, north eastern and Mount Kenya regions while the second one will add 323km in Central Rift, North Rift, western and South Nyanza regions.