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[June 25, 2014]
Fibre optics cable plan to save telecoms billions [Business Daily (Kenya)]
(Business Daily (Kenya) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Safaricom, Jamii Telecoms and Telkom Kenya are set to save billions of shillings that would have been spent on rolling out fibre optics infrastructure as the government embarks on phase two of its national inland cable project.
The Sh6.3 billion plan set to begin next month will connect Nairobi to 36 districts.
ICT Authority CEO Victor Kyalo said in a statement: "The Ministry of ICT is about to expand Kenya's fibre optic coverage with an additional 1,600km of NOFBI phase 2 being embarked on in July." Each of the private operators would have spent almost an equivalent amount to lay the 1,600km of fibre optic cable.
The project is funded by EXIM Bank of China, through a concessional government-to-government loan agreement whose conditions include awarding the contract to Chinese-owned firm Huawei.
The government plans to use the fibre optic infrastructure to boost delivery of online services and lease the excess capacity to private operators.
Some of services set to benefit include filing tax returns and processing of passports as well as birth certificates.
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