The government has set its sights on a bold initiative to provide internet access to 8.4 million homes by 2027, leveraging Kenya Power infrastructure to lay down fibre optic cables across the nation.

Telecommunications Principal Secretary, Edward Kisiang’ani, revealed the ambitious plan during the Annual National Public Key Infrastructure (NPKI) Forum 2024 in Nairobi.

He outlined the strategy of utilizing existing power lines to extend fibre optic connectivity to rural areas, aiming to bypass traditional cable-laying methods.

"If we work very hard using the power line and push the fibre optic cables into the meter through Kenya power instead of laying the cables we can meet our objective of reaching 8.4 Million homesteads by the year 2027," stated Kisiang’ani, highlighting the efficiency of this innovative approach.

By capitalizing on Kenya Power's infrastructure, the government aims to expedite the installation process while significantly reducing costs associated with traditional cable laying.

Kisiang’ani emphasized the need for cost-effectiveness, citing previous challenges faced when employing conventional methods.

"When we rolled out the fibre optic cables by digging trenches across the country the contractors initially given the job charged us high rates on just a single kilometer of fibre but then we realized we have the Kenya power that can help us move into more homesteads," he explained.

The project, estimated to cost Sh10 billion from the Universal Service Fund (USF), signifies a government-to-government agreement with Kenya Power, marking a strategic partnership to enhance internet accessibility nationwide.

Established in 2009, the USF collects levies from telecom operators to foster ICT connectivity in underserved areas.

Managed by the Universal Service Advisory Council (USAC) under the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), the fund has played a pivotal role in extending ICT services to previously neglected regions.

In a concerted effort to bridge the digital divide, the government initiated an additional 100,000 km of fibre optic cable deployment in July 2023. This endeavor forms part of the broader last-mile internet connectivity project, slated for completion by 2027.

With the convergence of infrastructure and technology, Kenya is poised to usher in a new era of connectivity, ensuring that internet access becomes a fundamental right accessible to all corners of the nation.

Through innovative partnerships and strategic investments, the government reaffirms its commitment to harnessing the power of digital connectivity for economic empowerment and societal advancement.