Permanent Secretary in the Kenyan Ministry of Information and Communications, Bitange Ndemo has constituted a team to manage the country’s National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI).
The team consists of government representatives, Safaricom, Frontier Optical Networks Ltd, Telkom Kenya, Kenya Data Networks and Jamii Telcoms,
Kenya’s Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have in the past demanded access to the country’s inland fibre optic network.
Ndemo met with officials from the Internet industry and agreed that NOFBI would be accessible to all interested licensed operators, who would then provide the last mile solutions to their customers.
Telkom Kenya has been managing the cable on behalf of the government and sells capacity to other operators – however, the government and other operators say Telkom Kenya has not sold capacity to other players on an aggressive scale.
“A committee was formed to look at pricing and help manage the cable,” says Ndemo, adding that the team would also investigate claims that Telkom Kenya has been incurring huge costs in operation and maintenance.
“The government will not continue spending such huge amounts of money on operation and maintenance,” says Ndemo.
Fiona Asonga, Telecommunications Service Providers Association of Kenya CEO says the move will ensure many people have access to the country’s backbone infrastructure.