Liquid Telecom Kenya has installed a KSh400 million ($4.4million) fibre optic network that will connect up to 25 Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) centres and enable the country’s research institution to use technology for effective research.
The data and Internet Provider (IP) company has created a Virtual Private Routed Network (VPRN) for KALRO in the country’s capital Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Nanyuki, with installations of three last mile technologies to deliver the research institute with 30MB internet network.
“Some of the sites are very remote and many of our users did not have experience beyond basic PC knowledge,” said Perez Ochieng, head of Service Delivery at Liquid Telecom Kenya.
“After connecting the router, we had to train them on how to access the files from headquarters and basic trouble shooting.”
The company cited that KALRO is the focus through which farming will be modernized through research and innovation in efforts to drive growth for vision 2030, with the agriculture sector being the sector feeding the country’s population.
The new fibre network aims to help the over 480 KALRO scientists who have struggled to keep up with regional and international peers in information sharing and access through the use of shared 3G modems and cyber cafes.
Patrick Gicheru, the centre director at National Agricultural Research Institute said, “In my centre, my staff had no access to internet at all.”
The network infrastructure installed by the data company earlier in May this year, has helped transform operations at the institution that holds 70 scientists and 150 staff.
The wide area network (WAN) has enabled KALRO to better disseminate the institution’s research to farmers, with Technology Information Units (TIUs) being installed in Embu and Thika, to provide information booths where farmers can log in to get information.
The TIUs are planned to launch in 11 more centres, enabling the institute reach more farmers.
“There is a wealth information at KALRO and it needs to be leveraged by getting it to many farmers as possible. This is what the Liquid Telecom WAN built on fibre optic and satellite technologies has been built to do,” said Paul Statham, Chief Commercial Officer at Liquid Telecom.
Last week the Liquid Telecom announced it was to start building a $34 million fibre optic network in Rwanda that would connect to the neighbouring countries.