Intellium, an Auckland based provider of a wide range of IT services, including fixed microwave for internet access, will help connect educational facilities in Kenya to the Internet.
The company is working with social enterprise Start!e (stet) to provide solar power to people’s homes and to power microwave equipment to connect rural towns to the Internet.
The microwave link will traverse 100km from Kenya’s second largest city, Mombasa, to the rural town of Marigat, connecting another three towns along the route. These towns currently rely on 3G mobile data for Internet access.
This, says Intellium, is often unreliable and very expensive and its microwave link will provide more cost-effective and improved connectivity to schools and education facilities in those villages and towns.
Start!e CEO Andrew Tanswell said the project would transform access to information in remote areas of Kenya. “It will truly create a window to the world for children and teachers in underserved, rural schools and communities to tap into global resources and opportunity.
Intellium claims experience in the use of digital microwave presence to connect hard-to-reach spots in New Zealand to the Internet. It also claims to cover large areas of Auckland and Christchurch with microwave services.
Intellium cofounder Dale Daniels said a significant challenge in Kenya had been mapping out the remote area that the connection will travel across and leasing and securing space for the microwave radio equipment at the necessary elevations.
Daniels and Intellium network engineer Brad Nightingale will travel to Kenya to build the network during May and June and to train locals so they will be able to install Intellium supplied equipment themselves.
Equipment to protect the dishes from sandstorms, the same as used on Intellium’s dishes in Christchurch to protect from the snow, will also be installed.