Unveiling of Internet hotspots ongoing – PS
A tender has already been awarded to Telkom Kenya and Avante International Technology to install free WiFi in 290 constituencies
The Ministry of Information plans to complete the rollout of free Internet at special centres countrywide to enhance access to government’s online services by December, Principal Secretary for broadcasting and telecommunications Sammy Itemize has said.
The PS said a tender has already been awarded to Telkom Kenya and US maker of technology systems Avante International Technology to install free Wi-Fi hotspots in all 290 constituencies.
“We have already awarded the tender and we are now at the stage of rolling out,” he said yesterday in an interview on the sidelines of the World Posta Day celebrations in Nairobi.
He said the project will largely be funded through the constituency development fund.
“The national government has provided about Sh300 million which will go to the development of infrastructure,” he said, adding “the Wi-Fi will ride on the national optic fibre backbone that links the 47 counties”.
Wi-Fi technology allows electronic devices to connect to wireless networks using low radio frequency bands.
The PS said the project will be carried out in liaison with the members of the National Assembly, and that each constituency will be supported with four Wi-Fi centres in the initial stage.
“The rollout is largely aimed at enhancing access to government services, most of which are now offered through the e-citizen portal. Free Internet will also enable the youth to create jobs by themselves.”
The project, if successful, will place Kenya at the top in terms of connectivity in Africa, where Internet access is limited.
It will be the second attempt to create free countrywide broadband access following the launch of satellite internet beaming technology by the social media giant Facebook.
Facebook has been providing Internet from space to large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa using a mobile app called Free Basics since May 2016.
Locally, hotspots will be set up at high points mainly buildings and the installation will involve a satellite dish, smart devices, among other accessories. The coverage for the hotspot is approximately 50 meters wide.
Information PS Sammy Itemere during the launch of the Google’s Digify Africa programme at Sarova Stanley on April 12