How Google is helping Improve Internet Access for Kenyan Universities

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Inoorero University launched its completed wireless local area network with much fanfare on Wednesday, June 13, 2012. The project, started end of November, 2011 and completed early January 2012. After two months of testing, the wireless LAN is now fully functional.

Backing Google’s mission to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful, Inoorero University is pleased to be part of the Google Apps Supporting Programs (GASP). GASP is an initiative designed to catalyze Internet usage and Google Apps adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa universities through providing Google Apps for Education as well as strengthening the existing ICT services of participating Universities through offering a combination of Internet bandwidth or Infrastructure grants, Technical Consulting and Training, and Google Apps Training.

In line with Google’s focus in Sub-Saharan Africa to improve internet access, Google is working with Kenyan Universities to provide ubiquitous access to the Internet on campus as well as improve the experience of users. To reach this goal, Google offers an Infrastructure grant to partner universities under the Google Apps Supporting Programs (GASP), of which Inoorero University and Strathmore University are beneficiaries.

In countries like Kenya, where Internet bandwidth is relatively affordable and a research and education network like Kenya Education Network (KENET) exists, Google provides infrastructure matching grants to qualifying projects from participating universities. Such projects aim to improve Internet access on campus to the entire university community. Google’s support also includes technical consulting and training where required.

Inoorero University received an Infrastructure matching grant to improve its campus network and provide a wireless hotspot service through their buildings. Also, Inoorero received technical consulting provided by KENET, a GASP technical consulting partner, which facilitated a speedy implementation. The project was completed in December 2011.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Henry Thairu stated that “The grant has enabled Inoorero University to complete the wireless infrastructure project, which has been a major undertaking for the University. We now have 25 Wifi access points to cover the two buildings. This project will enhance our service delivery to all our students and faculty.”

Google Kenya’s Country Manager, Joe Mucheru, who was the chief guest at the launch, explained that “In countries like Kenya where the cost of internet bandwidth is affordable to Universities, Google will provide assistance to match the university’s investment 1:1 up to a predetermined limit for qualifying campus infrastructure projects that improve connectivity for your staff & students.”

The GASP program is available to Universities in Kenya, as well as Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda.