Kenyans to get faster, safer internet through new investment

Faster internet

From left: CA Director General Ezra Chiloba, State Department of Broadcasting and Telecommunication PS Esther Koimett, ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo, ICANN President and CEO Göran Marby and TESPOK CEO Fiona Asonga during the unveiling of Africa’s first Root Server cluster in Nairobi.

Photo credit: Courtesy

Kenya has received a boost in its internet connectivity allowing users to have faster access to online services and better protection from cyberattacks.

This follows the launch of a new Managed Root Server (MRS) cluster in Nairobi by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The cluster helps improve Domain Name System(DNS) infrastructure in any country, territory, or region of the world.

It is important in stimulating Internet access and strengthening Internet stability. The cluster will also reduce the impact of potential cyberattacks across Africa.

One of the most common types of attacks is distributed denial-of-service attacks which work by overwhelming servers with a flood of queries or Internet traffic.

MRS clusters provide higher bandwidth and data processing capacity to alleviate some of that traffic.

It also ensures that Internet queries can be answered within the region, which limits its dependence on networks and servers in other parts of the world. 

"Improving users' access to the Internet in Africa, and their safety while using it, is part of ICANN's mission to help make the Internet more secure, stable, and resilient across the world," said Göran Marby, ICANN President and CEO. 

ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo noted the installation of the new cluster was in line with the government’s plan to digitise the nation. 

Technical community

“The installation of the IMRS cluster aligns with our mission to digitally transform not only our own country but the entire continent, through regulation, partnership, and innovation. We are proud to help bring a more resilient Internet to a larger audience in Africa," Mr Owalo said. 

Mr Marby lauded the government for its support noting the project is the result of years of collaboration between the local and regional technical community as well as ICANN.

"The installation of this new cluster would not have been possible without the participation of the local community. We are grateful to the Kenyan government for its support and commitment to advancing Internet accessibility across Africa," he added. 

A Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL) report in September ranked Kenya’s internet quality at 106th which was 34 per cent worse than the global average. 

Communications Authority Director General Ezra Chiloba said setting up of the server in the country is instrumental in improving internet connectivity and quality. 

“It is an honour for ICANN to have chosen to host the servers in Kenya especially when you look at the increased demand for internet across the world.”

There are five MRS clusters in the world, two in North America, one in Europe, one in Asia, and now the newest one in Africa. The company hopes to install three more clusters in the next two years.