On January 14th, I blogged about the impending launch of KDN in Nakuru here. Well, the day is here. Kenya Data Networks, Kenya’s largest private data carrier and infrastructure provider will be officially launching the Fibre Optic Cable in Nakuru at Merica Hotel as from 5.30 PM.
I will be there and so expect me to write a comprehensive blog post on what will be said, what this will mean for businesses in Nakuru, how radically (or not) to expect things to change technology-wise here in Nakuru and the works…
So make a point o coming back here to see what transpired…
Kenya Data Networks (KDN) just launched in Nakuru. It was quite the event…
The launch was set to start at 5.30 PM and I got there 5 minutes earlier. I found a reporter and one more person waiting. The majority of the people arrived within the hour and at around 6.30, the ball got rolling.
Mr. Muhia said that NBA recognized the need for a swift and cost effective internet accessibility and hence the joint operation between NBA and KDN in Launching the Fibre Optic Cable in Nakuru. Mr. Muhia believes that Nakuru is on the threshold of enormous growth as evidenced by the demolition of many old buildings and construction of high-rise buildings in their place. He attributes this to the need for office space as businesses set up shop in Nakuru. As a cosmopolitan and very strategic town, Mr. Muhia believes that Nakuru will serve as the launch pad into the rest of the greater Rift Valley region.
But before finishing, Mr. Muhia outlined a couple of challenges that the business community faces in Nakuru. “He mentioned quite a number but I have only outlined those challenges that ICT can tackle.”
The Town clerk at least acknowledged that he asked what this Fibre Optic would mean for Nakuru Town and its Environs. In his short speech, he said that he was told the cost would reduce immensely while capacity and quality would improve greatly.
But just to prove the challenge that KDN and those of us running web based businesses will be facing especially in terms of educating businesses on new technologies, our Town Clerk instead of saying Bandwidth confidently said Brandwidth. Given that he could not even say it right, I doubt he truly understood what it means for Businesses. And therein lies the challenge; to educate and then prove how this technology can fundamentally change business operations for the better. Those of us on the ground understand how complex this is in practice.
He urges young people to take advantage by saying that as in any other business, it is the first few in the game who benefit the most.
He then informs us that the Kenyan Government was recognized for facilitating ICT in Kenya. What he meant was that Kenya Won the GSMA Government Leadership Award for Progressive Mobile Broadband Strategy in Barcelona, Spain – two days ago.
He reiterates the BPO story that is now synonymous with Fibre Optic Cable and once more mentions our superior English as a competitive advantage over the legendary BPO Industry in India.
I liked this guy immediately he started taking. I should mention that this was a Video Conference. Mr. Wulff was addressing us from the comfort of his Boardroom and one Arthur Kinyanjui, an Accounts Executive at KDN, assured me that this video conference was being streamed using a 256kbps connection (more on that in a subsequent post that will be dealing on the technicalities.)
Mr. Wulff started of by admitting that they are late in the day coming to Nakuru. He then went on to make some important points as concerns his teams’ presence on the ground.
He asked the town clerk to make it as easy as possible for his team which is laying the cable across the town to dig the roads. He also asked the town clerk not to charge them exorbitantly for this process because at the end of the day, these costs will be conveyed to the end users.
He also made an appeal to the Landlords in our midst not to charge rent on the KDN switches being installed in their buildings. As a way of gaining traction with this appeal, he asked them whether they charged the Electricity Company, the Water Company, or even Telkom Kenya (the latter insinuated and not mention by name) to be in their buildings. He said that KDN is no different from any of these and thus should not be charged rent. And if this happens, the costs again will be conveyed to the tenants.
Fibre will mean nothing if it not utilized properly. Mr. Wulff asserted that we should be noted not for cheap labour as far as BPO is concerned but rather for quality labour. And quality is what KDN assures.
For SME’s, Mr. Wulff said that there is a package that begins at KES 1000 which comes with unlimited usage among other impressive additions. (Read the subsequent post which will deal with the Technical stuff and Pricing.)
He finished with a challenge that is now dominating every tech event across the continent; content creation. Here is also another interesting abstract on Content Creation in Africa. He urged the young people in our midst to think big, to be content creators and application developers as a way of fully taking advantage of fibre optic presence.
For the Technical Analysis, please make a point of coming back for the subsequent post.