The Kiambu County government and Internet services provider Liquid Telecom Kenya have entered into a three-year partnership deal that will see residents enjoy free wireless Internet in designated areas in the county.
A memorandum of understanding that will guide the operations was signed by the firm’s Chief Executive Officer Ben Robert, County Executive for Education and ICT Esther Ndirangu and Chief Officer Ann Gichohi.
Governor William Kabogo and County Secretary Fed Kitema witnessed the signing of the deal, whose scope of operations is limited to providing free Wi-Fi connectivity in the county.
Liquid Telecom is a local subsidiary of Liquid Group, an international wholesaler, builder, carrier and operator of fibre-optic, wireless and satellite connectivity.
Governor Kabogo said the first phase of the project, whose implementation will kick off in the next two weeks, will see Wi-Fi hotspots installed in Thika, Ruiru, Kiambu and Limuru towns as pilot projects.
Thereafter, the project will be rolled out at all main trading centres in the twelve sub-counties.
The designated areas include; bus parks, public hospitals, main markets, public gardens and streets.
According to the MoU, Liquid Telecom will undertake surveys on the connectivity as well as install free Wi-Fi to provide bandwidth and hotspots within the designated areas.
Further, the firm will maintain the Wi-Fi service to ensure uninterrupted connectivity during the period of the MoU and also take responsibility of paying utility bills which include connection and licenses fees.
On the other hand, the county government will provide free way leaves along the county roads and rights of way and access to existing poles and sites to enable the installation and construction of the connectivity infrastructure.
The county will also be in charge of settling electricity bills.
Governor Kabogo said the partnership will ease operations in the county, saying after the installation, they will facilitate the setting up ICT centres which will be offering financial services on behalf of the county.
“We are going cashless, meaning that there is no risk of appointing agents to handle transactions for us because there is no money changing hands.
“We will open ICT canteens and, therefore, young men and women should be on the lookout because we will advertise for agents,” he said.