With a $20 million (Ksh1.75 billion) war chest and a 17,000 kilometre of fibre optic cable across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi, Liquid Telecom, has installed a Sh400m fibre optic network to connect 25 Kenya Agricultural And Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) centres in a move that will up agricultural research in Kenya, one of the biggest contributors to the country’s GDP.
Through a statement, the firm has said it has created a 30MB internet network Virtual Private Routed Network (VPRN) for KALRO in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Nanyuki and installed both fibre and satellite network to KALRO centres in Perkerra, Marsabit, Buchuma, Kiboko, and Transmara.
KALRO says it has over 480 scientists who daily rely on shared 3G modems and cyber cafes, the Wide Area Network infrastructure installed is expected to transform the institutions’ work and increase the quality and quantity of their output.
“Agricultural research is an integral aspect in ensuring food security. There is a wealth of information at KALRO and it needs to be leveraged by getting it to as many farmers as possible, in the easiest and cheapest way. This is what the Liquid Telecom WAN built on fibre optic and satellite technologies has been built to do,” said Paul Statham the Chief Commercial Officer at Liquid Telecom.
Completed in May, the network powers KALRO internal communication, allows peer-review and sharing of journals among researchers both locally and internationally and is used to disseminating latest research studies to farmers to help them improve their trade via Technology Information Units.
Liquid Telecom recently announced a $34 million fibre network expansion drive in Rwanda.