Intelllium Technology is helping link rural Africa with the rest of the world, leveraging local expertise to provide internet connectivity to educational facilities.
The Auckland-based provider has partnered with Startle, spearheading an initiative designed to provide internet connections to four rural Kenyan towns.
Drawing on 10 years of IT support experience, the business aims to leverage expertise in providing cost-effective internet to rural New Zealand during the deployment.
“In New Zealand, we take the internet for granted, but in Kenya it’s a luxury,” Intelllium director of business development, Mark Taylor, said.
Through joining forces with Startle, the new internet connection uses solar to power the equipment needed to connect rural towns.
“Intellium is experienced at using digital microwave points of presence to connect hard-to-reach spots in New Zealand to the world wide web, transmitting from metropolitan areas to high vantage points via microwave radio dishes,” Taylor added.
Specifically, the Kenyan connection will travel 100km from the country’s second largest city of Mombasa, through three rural towns before finishing in Marigat, located in the lowlands of Baringo County.
Currently, these towns rely on 3G mobile data, which is often unreliable and expensive.
“This will provide more cost-effective and improved connectivity to schools and education facilities in those villages and towns,” Intelllium director of infrastructure, Dale Daniels, added.
According to Daniels, a key challenge has been mapping out the remote area that the connection will travel across, alongside leasing and securing space for the microwave radio equipment at the necessary elevation.
Terms of the deployment will see Daniels and network engineer, Brad Nightingale, travel to Africa to build the network during the May-June period.
During the visit, they will also help train locals to carry out the build themselves, meaning that for future deployments, Intellium can provide the equipment and local staff can “plug it in”.
Equipment to protect the dishes from sandstorms - the same as used on Intellium’s dishes in Christchurch to protect from the snow - will also be installed.
“It will truly create a window to the world for children and teachers in underserved, rural schools and communities to tap into global resources and opportunity,” Startle CEO, Andrew Tanswell, added.
Spanning voice and internet, cloud and IT support capabilities, Intellium builds and supports technology infrastructure across a number of vertical markets, including retail, property, finance, healthcare, manufacturing, professional services and technology.
From a technology persecutive, the provider partners with vendors such as Cisco, HP and Microsoft, alongside Aerohive Networks, ESET and Canon.