Most modern cities have WiFi connectivity that gives visitors and other members of the public uninterrupted access to the internet at almost no cost. This is soon to be the case for Kenya’s capital, Nairobi as Telkom is set to provide internet connectivity to selected parts of the city.
The South African-owned company which has a presence in Kenya is partnering with the Nairobi County Government and Meelin Media Limited to execute the plan. The project is dubbed “Link Kenya Project” and will see internet connectivity installed in strategic areas such as Aga Khan Walk, Memorial Park and Ambassador. Also, each of the hotspots has a double-sided 55-inch LCD screen that will run paid advertisements to cater for the cost of maintenance.
Speaking on the initiative, Managing Director of Telkom Enterprise, Kris Senanu, described it as a “boost to the government’s efforts to bridge existing gaps in internet connectivity.” He added that whereas internet penetration has grown over the last few years, thanks to the mobile phone, sections of the population still cannot enjoy it owing to prohibitive costs.
Aside from transforming the city of Nairobi, the inclusion of internet access in the open areas will benefit everyone especially individuals who can’t afford it. A report by Tanaza buttresses the importance of public WiFi and the massive role it plays in the education, healthcare, commercial and public sectors. It also states that 40 percent of traffic jam in cities is caused by drivers who can’t access free parking lots. Using an online application, connected to a public network, is capable of bridging this gap.
“This is the first of many initiatives to bridge the connectivity gap in the cities and major towns in Kenya. Ultimately, we’re looking at connecting people easily and for free, for a better urban experience,” said Managing Director of Meelin, Davis Nyamari.