Liquid Telecom Kenya is laying a Sh54 million metro fibre optic network in Kisumu that is expected to boost Internet speeds in the lakeside city ten-fold.
The 12.4km metro network will cover Kisumu central business district, Milimani and Kondele up to Kibos, Kicomi and Migosi junction.
The network will be built in partnership with Kisumu County government and is in line with the goal of transforming the metropolis into a “smart city”.
The smart cities concept integrate multiple ICT systems to manage a city’s assets, including county information systems, schools, libraries, transport, hospitals, power plants, water supply networks and waste management.
Some of the best known smart city examples are Vienna, Toronto, Stockholm, Paris, New York, London, Tokyo, Berlin, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Barcelona and Dubai.
“Technology is opening ways to save costs, lives and losses, as well as enhancing opportunities, markets and education, and a fast and reliable Internet connection is essential as a first foundation in developing all of these opportunities,” said Liquid Telecom chief executive Ben Roberts in a statement.
Other infrastructure providers that have their inland fibre optic in the town include Jamii Telecoms, MTN Business and AccessKenya.
Liquid Telecom is targeting learning institutions such as the University of Nairobi, Maseno University, the Catholic University of East Africa, Kenya Institute of Management and Kisumu Polytechnic, as well as hospitals such as Aga Khan, Milimani Hospital and Marie Stopes. It will also benefit Kisumu International Airport and hotels in the area.
Michael Onyango, Kisumu county minister for Communications, Information and Technology said the new metro network would improve efficiency in the city through the use of enabling technologies.
“Higher Internet penetration will also aid in creating effective service delivery and communication within the region, with Kisumu strategically poised as the gateway to the Western region and more critically the East Africa Community bloc,” Mr Onyango said.
As part of the transformation, Kisumu is also launching a technology hub with dedicated teams working towards the development of enabling technologies in sectors such as governance, youth, health, job creation, environment and agriculture.
“We have partnered with various private sector players and have embarked on a mass training of coders in the county to ensure that the tech hub is a success,” Mr Onyango added.