Business and finance

Nairobi Kibera slum gets affordable Internet connection

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Liquid Telecom Kenya takes Internet to Kibera slum. Poa In partnership with Liquid Telecom Kenya has hurled a new Internet model, into the Kibera slums, drawing thousands of subscribers in just a few months.

This is delivered using solar powered hotspots. In addition, the company has also provided free Internet access to Kibera schools, mosques, health centres, churches, and youth centres.

Poa internet was established in August 2015.  It is now employing about 25 regular staff, mostly young people. Most of the employees are from Kibera slums selling Internet for as little as Sh10 for 25MB.
The company’ is aiming at bringing millions of East Africans online over the next in the near future, using innovative technology and ‘kidogo’ (small) product pricing.

“We are selling internet to individuals in Kibera at affordable prices, and have also provided free Internet to more than eight health centres, 20 schools, and 20 cyber cafes’ in the area” said Mr Andy Halsall, CEO of  Poa! Internet.

Poa! Internet is using Liquid Telecom Kenya’s fibre infrastructure.  It is known as a local loop. From a connection near Kibera, to supply the internet to residents of Africa’s second largest slum.
“Liquid Telecom is our partner in ensuring that the less privileged population of Kibera access the same  services and quality of  Internet as their counterparts in other parts of the country, and at an affordable cost”, he said.  The partnership is making a swift and visible difference, he added.
“Internet has made life much better, with more youths engaging in businesses, such as cyber cafes, and shops where they are selling bundles. This has had a positive impact on these individuals and put great potential in their hands”, he said.

The cost of accessing the internet using poa! Internet   ranges from as low as Sh10 for 25 MB to Sh3, 000 for 20 GB, in bundles that do not expire.

Kibera residents are ensured that anybody in Kibera wanting to use high speed, high quality Internet can do so for just a few (bob) Kenya shillings according to  Andy.
poa! Internet also provides its customers with free access to a wide range of digital content. This includes educational, healthcare, and other socially beneficial materials as well as sports, entertainment and news.

“We want to ensure that the people of Kibera can get access to the latest information even when they don’t have cash in their pocket”, Andy explained.
He raised seed funding in the UK to launch the business; on the basis that East Africa still holds huge potential for internet consumption. “We are targeting millions of subscribers in this region, if our plans go as scheduled,” he said.

“East Africa is highly educated but still not everybody has access to internet.”
This vision has seen Liquid Telecom Kenya name poa! Internet, as an outstanding example, of last mile development of the group’s the East African infrastructure.

The launch and rapid rise of poa! Internet in Kibera represents a fulfillment of  liquid telecom, own purpose and vision too, after it had  invested heavily in the new Nairobi metro network,  so that it can provide up to 20 times more internet data across the city with high quality and reliability,  according to Mr. Ben Roberts, CEO of Liquid Telecom Kenya.

He added that Liquid telecom was looking forwards to supporting poa! Internet initiative, as their business expands and rolls out to other areas.

About Liquid Telecom
Liquid Telecom Kenya is part of the Liquid Telecom Group.  It is the leading independent data, voice and IP provider in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. It supplies fibre optic, satellite and international carrier services to Africa’s largest mobile network operators, ISPs, financial institutions and businesses of all sizes. The company has won Multi-awards. It has built Africa’s largest single fibre network currently spanning over 24,000km across borders, and covering Africa’s fastest-growing economies where no fixed network has existed before. The company was named Best African Wholesale Carrier for the last four consecutive years at the annual Global Carrier Awards.

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