9 February 2012

Kenya: Government Plans to Connect All Counties

The government is rushing to have internet connectivity countrywide before the new county governance system takes shape.

With 34 out of the 47 counties so far covered by the National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure,it is exploring use of wireless technology to reach the furthest parts of the country. "E-government must be in place before the new counties are in place," The PS for Information and Communication, Bitange Ndemo said. "We have until December to have  connectivity in all counties". Though Telkom Kenya is still managing the cable on behalf of government, Ndemo said the infrastructure will be shared with Kenya Power and other private sector providers for deeper connection.

The government had earlier planned to tender out the management of the national cable to other interested players as France Telecom complained of high costs of maintaining it versus the low revenue earned from leasing out capacity. "It will be expensive to remove the terminals from TKL facilities. When we built the infrastructure, it was still Government owned" Ndemo said.

Other Intenet providers like Kenya Data Networks, Safaricom Jamii Telkom , Access Kenya have rolled out their fibre optic infrastructure, mainly in urban centres. The NOFBI was initially planned to be spread through district headquarters but this has changed with the devolved system,necessitating a re-mapping.

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