County governments charging exorbitant way leave fees risk being shunned by broadband infrastructure providers, mobile telecoms firm Safaricom has warned.
Safaricom, which has started laying a 2,400-kilometre fibre optic cable at a cost of Sh14 billion Thursday said the county governments should not view the fibre network as a revenue stream but a long term investment and a catalyst for businesses.
The warning by the leading mobile operator comes barely a week after news that Jamii Telecoms had abandoned laying fibre in Laikipia County citing high charges.
(Read: Costly fees hindering internet spread in counties)
The county government demanded Sh600 for every metre excavated by the firm, forcing it to abandon the work midway.
Telecommunication infrastructure especially broadband is key to delivery and accessing of central government services such as filling of tax returns online.
"Counties that charge exorbitant way leave fees should take note that no broadband provider will invest in such areas and as such they should consider their decision," said
"We would also urge county governments to resist the temptation to levy new fees on telecommunications infrastructure as this will inevitably result in mobile operators de-prioritising these counties," he added.
The high fees charged by some counties has also caught the eye of the ICT Cabinet Secretary
A national broadband strategy was launched a month ago and it is intended to support the deployment of ICT in various economic and governance services.
But the minister said the way leave fee was becoming a big challenge in the counties.
The broadband plan envisages an open access, technology neutrality, sustainable and equitable market-based investment opportunities.
Safaricom shareholders passed the
"The dividend payment you approved here today is the largest in Kenyan corporate history. The share price is now 50 per cent above the IPO price and approximately double the price it was same time last year," said
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