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Drive to improve internet connectivity in informal settlements

Poor internet connectivity especially in the informal settlements continues to slow down the country’s economic growth.

The availability of cheap and fast internet bridges the digital divide and offers access to job opportunities, trade, education, healthcare and social inclusion.

However, few companies invest in internet infrastructure in poor and rural areas citing low uptake of these services.

To overcome this, Ahadi Wireless Limited, an internet service provider has rolled out a campaign to provide fast, affordable and accessible WiFi connection to low-income households in the Country and sensitize the public on the product to boost its uptake.

The organization which operates under the brand name ‘Konnect Internet’ strives to provide cheaper access to the internet to poor neighborhoods to help bridge the digital divide between high and low-income communities.

Johnstone Namusasi, the organization’s Sales and Marketing Director said the initiative is a vital tool in closing the affordability gap and enhancing internet access to slum dwellers.

“We have lowered the cost of high-speed internet for all our users to expand penetration of internet connectivity to all households in the informal settlements,” Namusasi said.

So far, Konnect Internet has installed WiFi in over 4000 buildings serving over 100,000 active users across Zimmerman, Roysambu, Hunters, Lucky Summer, Githurai 44, Kahawa West, and Githurai 45 areas within Nairobi City.

With the introduction of zero installation fees, the organization has experienced a 300 percent growth in internet coverage over the past two years. “Since our customers are price-sensitive and of low income, we have created flexible subscription packages that fit their pockets,” Namusasi says.

The program charges users a minimum of Sh20 to a maximum of Sh2100 to subscribe to unlimited internet services.

In addition, Konnect Internet has installed routers along the streets and in corridors of buildings within the slums to facilitate both indoor and outdoor connectivity.

“Unlike other providers where you can only use WiFi inside your house, we have created over 50,000 access points to enable users with active accounts to be connected while walking on the streets,” Namusasi disclosed.

The street routers feature also allows users to connect to the internet even while in a different community where the infrastructure has been laid.

The initiative augments the government’s effort to digitize all its services in a bid to enhance efficiency and improve service delivery in the public sector.

According to internet researchers Datareportal, 42 percent of Kenyans were online at the start of 2022, qualifying Kenya as among the most connected countries in Africa.

However, the World Digital Quality of life index 2022 report ranked Kenya dismally at position 106 out of 117 countries with regard to internet speed, stability and growth.

 By Robert Ojwang’


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