Microsoft Helps Deliver Cheap Broadband Internet Access In Kenya

Microsoft Helps Deliver Cheap Broadband Internet Access In Kenya

From Biztech Africa.

Kenya is using TV spectrum to deliver high-speed broadband internet access to rural communities at low cost thanks to white space, the wireless spectrum being freed up as countries migrate from analog to digital TV.

Internet access is available using mostly existing infrastructure, according to an article in Biztech Africa.

The Microsoft-led 4Afrika TV White Spaces Internet Access Project is delivering broadband access to more than 6,000 people in rural Kenya for as little as a dollar a month, according to the report.

Microsoft partnered with the Kenyan Ministry of Information and Communications and Kenyan Internet Service Provider, Indigo Telecom Ltd., according to microsoft.com

The deployment is called “Mawingu,” the Kiswahili word for cloud. It is the first deployment of solar-power based stations together with TV white spaces, a technology partially developed by Microsoft, to deliver high-speed internet access to areas lacking even basic electricity, the website says.

A similar TV white spaces project is set to roll out in Tanzania, and 11 other countries are interested, said Whitney Cubbison, Microsoft Africa’s Communications Director, in the Biztech Africa report. For every 8,000 students coming online, 12 jobs are created in the support center servicing them, according to Microsoft.

The project has created something useful and potentially life changing for thousands of people, Indigo Telecom Chairman Peter Henderson said in the report.

“When we first demonstrated the internet access tools at the local schools, at the end of each lesson, the kids would beg for more, saying, ‘we are wanting!’” Henderson said in Biztech Africa.

Read more at Biztech Africa.