COVID-19 UPDATE: Government to strengthen internet connection to facilitate working from home

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Google internet-by-ballon program to strengthen 4G connection in the country./COURTESY

The government has approved the roll out of Google Loon Services in Kenya to enable universal 4G data coverage in the country.

Speaking at State House in Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the approval was in line with Government’s measures to respond to the disruptions caused by the global Coronavirus pandemic that has seen many people work from home.

“In that regard, and to foster communication and enable Kenyans to retain and enhance remote access to the Offices and Enterprises, My Administration has granted approvals that will ensure universal 4G Data Coverage throughout Kenya,” said President Kenyatta.

He announced that the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has signed an agreement with Google Loon that allows Loon Balloons to fly over Kenyan airspace.

These balloons, which will hover well above our commercial airspace, carry 4G base stations and have the capacity to provide wider signal coverage.

The President said the new development will enable Kenya retain her competitive advantages in ICT and innovation in the midst of the current crisis; while at the same time laying the foundation for greater expansion once the current health challenge is contained.

The President said Telkom Kenya and Google have been testing the 4G data network and will roll out the commercial service as soon as the balloons are available in the Kenyan airspace.

“Once inaugurated, this service will extend Telkom Kenya’s 4G network to areas that currently are not covered by any of our mobile network providers,” the President said.

The service will also boost online learning as it will allow teachers and students to access education materials remotely.

While citing the recently set up Telemedicine Centre for Coronavirus detection at Kenyatta National Hospital, President Uhuru said Kenyans should be proud of their country’s pole position in technology and innovations.

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