Data, voice and IP providerLiquid Telecom Kenya (LTK), is installing a $2 million (Ksh175 million) fiber optic network in Siaya County, the first its kind in rural Kenya.
The move is part of firm’s plan to invest $50 million dollars in partnerships with counties in the next 24 months to roll out data connectivity projects that will see more counties benefit from similar projects.
Through the Wide Area Network (WAN) concept, the internet will link the county headquarters, sub counties and wards together, with a connection back to the central government.
It will allow residents in the county access reliable and affordable internet.
The installation process will see 50 staff employed with further roles being created to handle maintenance of fibre optics and wireless networks in the county.
“Rural Internet connectivity is rather poor in Kenya due to lack of infrastructure. What LTK primarily seeks to achieve in the partnership with the Siaya County government is open up the county to new business opportunities and improve government functionality,” said Nic Rudnick, Liquid Telecom Group CEO.
“There are vast human and capital resources lying idle in Siaya. Connecting the county to the rest of Kenya and the world will in turn enable businesses and the county government register increased productivity at reduced costs.”
According to the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) statistics released in 2014, Internet penetration in Kenya stands at 52.3 per cent, making the penetration in the country among the most enviable across the region.
However penetration in rural areas has remained dismal locking out rural businesses and people from business, trade and employment opportunities experienced elsewhere.