Poa! Internet slashes broadband costs one slum at a time

In Tech

Increased internet connections to people living in informal settlements has resulted in a rise in new income generating activities with unemployed youths now able to bid for online overseas jobs such as video editing.

Andy Halsall Poa internet Chief Executive notes that through efficiency and use of technology, internet providers could make profits by tapping the underserved low income earners by subsidizing internet cost.

For Sh10 you get unlimited broadband for 1 hour and Sh50 for 24 hours, Sh350 for a week and Sh1500 for a month cutting internet costs sharply for the less privileged.

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Though the affordability of both mobile phones and data has seen almost every village in the country enjoy some level of internet connectivity, the high cost of bandwidth options available to support internet based businesses has seen these connections limited to just social networking and basic communication.

Halsall however, by being far more efficient and leveraging on technology, internet service providers could benefit more by targeting low income earners. The initiative helps to increase income generating opportunities such as online jobs and online businesses buying lowering entry costs.

Surfspot is another such project driven by Facebook that is also banking on lower prices to drive internet penetration in satelights areas of Nairobi. This drive is forcing telcos to revise their prices and in effect reducing the country’s internet costs that have stayed high since the advent of fibre optic cables almost ten years ago.

In what can be termed as a privilege only for those residing in low income communities, Halsall notes that they have made it possible for one to access unlimited internet for up to an hour for just 10 shillings.

Poa Internet was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.

In terms of funding, poa! Internet has closed two tranches of Series A funding with Novastar Ventures for “several million dollars” and is looking to get more funding from Biscayne Investment, a fund with a strong relationship with Cisco.

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