27 August 2013

National Research and Education Network: KENET

By Michuki MwangiDistinguished Technologist, Internet Growth
Aniket Pingley
Aniket PingleyGuest Author

The Kenya Education Network (KENET) was founded in 1999 and was licensed as a private networks operator in 2002. KENET is recognized by ICANN and AfriNIC as a National Research and Education Network (NREN) and allocated AS# and IP block (v4 and v6) on behalf of education community of Kenya. 

KENET promotes the use of ICT in institutions of higher learning whilst connecting them to the rest of the world. KENET institutions have so far been provided with affordable and efficient bandwidth. 

“KENET gives a non-discriminative connectivity for tertiary institutions within the country. If you look at the capacity they were connected to before government support most universities could not afford more than one mbps…we gave them an interim capacity support through the project which saw 100 Mbps distributed within 24 institutions…and further increased to 58 institutions of higher learning and even extended to research and technical institutes and other government affiliated bodies” said Victor Kyalo, Deputy C.E.O, Kenya ICT Board.

KENET membership categories

KENET prides itself with 78 members including public and private universities, colleges, research institutions such as the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) Kenya Agriculture Research Institute (KARI), Libraries notably the Kenya National Library Services (KNLS) and Government affiliates such as Higher Education Loan Board (HELB), Commission of Higher Education (CHE), and Teachers Service Commission (TSC) among others.

KENET rapid growth is serving more than 300,000 students and connected to 120 campuses.

The bandwidth is distributed through various infrastructure lines including KENET owned fibre, commercial fibre leased lines, KENET owned radios and commercial radio leased lines. This gives a total of 141 links and 27,949 Mbps

Key achievements so far

More than 120 campuses have been connected in 4 years distributing more than 1.95 Gbps of international bandwidth and 600Mbps from local content cache.There has been development of 2 data centers, shared services, collocation and partnership with local operators and leased line providers including Kenya Data Network (KDN), FON, Jamii Telecom (JTL), Safaricom, Telkom Kenya and Access Kenya collaboration with other NRENs, Ubuntunet Alliance, Internet 2, DFN, international universities, research bodies, international collaboration and partnership. 

KENET Governance

KENET is governed by a Trust Deed with objectives to offer cost-effective bandwidth, share resources for learning and research and promote collaboration in higher education.

This is a membership organization (closed network for members only) that is governed by a Board of Trustees including five (5) Vice Chancellors of founding universities and three (3) representatives of Government, Industry Regulator and Research Institutes. A Management Board with five representatives of the founding universities, three representatives of senior faculty, rural universities and research institutes. A Secretariat with an executive director, 16 techies – electrical engineering and computer science, Three (3) finance members and four (4) graduate trainees.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.