Telkom has partnered with Nairobi County Government and Meelin Media Limited to provide free, secure wireless internet in select parts of the city, in an effort to bridge the connectivity gap.
This is not the first free wifi project in Kenya. Facebook’s Express WiFi struggled until it was acquired by BRCK’s Moja. Wananchi and Google’s Wazi Wifi failed. Safaricom’s free public wifi project never took off and it’s free Matatu WiFi dubbed VumaOnline failed as well. So was Liquid Telecom’s nationwide move.
The initiative dubbed Link Kenya Project, will see three internet hotspots set up within the central business district, at: Aga Khan Walk, Memorial Park and Ambassador. Each of the hotspots has a double-sided 55-inch LCD screens that will run paid advertisements to cater for the cost of maintenance.
“This initiative is a boost to the government’s efforts to bridge existing gaps in internet connectivity. 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” Said Kris Senanu – Managing Director, Telkom Enterprise.
The provision of free internet by Telkom not only enhances the government’s digitization agenda by enabling more people to access information and services, but builds on an existing iniatives where the firm has been facilitating connectivity to the innovation hubs in all the 210 Constituencies, in a bid to transform the country into an information society and align to a digital economy.
“We are continually working to connect people who keep Kenya on the move. This is at the core of our vision as a company. It is the reason, we have the most unbeatable offers on data in Kenya today; and the Link Kenya Project enables us to facilitate internet access to even more people in Nairobi”.
Mr. Senanu added that with the critical role that the internet plays in day-to-day lives, it is important that access is enhanced for as many people as possible to connect with family, enjoy government service and do business.
The Managing Director of Meelin, Davis Nyamari said “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.
The Link Kenya Project is modeled after New York’s LinkNYC, which set up in New York City in 2015,with 9.5 feet tall kiosks fitted with 55-inch HD displays and fast, secure public wi-fi in the city.