Broadband Kenya: Dr. Bitange Ndemo Cracks The Whip

Our beloved government has woken up and smelt the coffee. We need real broadband, not lofty adverts by ISPs about how “connected” they are and how many kilometres of fibre thay have laid in various places.

Information Permanent Secretary Dr Bitange Ndemo said on Tuesday that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were still making obscene profits from the high cost of bandwidth despite the operationalisation of the fibre optic cables.

“They are being mischievous. We have been talking about $6000 per Megabyte, telling us that they are lowering to $600 which from our calculation their payback would be in less than six months that is not what we want,” he stressed.

It was widely believed that with the coming live of the SEACOM and The East African Marine System (TEAMS) cable, the cost of bandwidth would come down significantly but this has not happened.

Yes Daktari, read the riot act. We need real broadband connections, not advertising and endless “promotions” hoodwinking us to buy “bundles” and all manner of monthly contracts. When you get home, fire up your PC and connect, nothing. You actually miss your old dial-up line, at least it worked at a certain low speed, and you got what you expected.

“We have many options but it’s always good to leave the competition to push the pricing down, but it doesn’t the regulator (Communication Commission of Kenya), would step in,” the PS emphasised. Mr PS, please ensure the CCK steps in now.

Dr. Ndemo did not stop there, read on.

He said the argument that the providers have increased capacity for the same pricing is not valid since majority of Kenyans cannot access affordable and after internet connectivity.

“That is nonsense. If Kenyans are not able to afford, then I’m not happy because for me to ensure that the economy grows it is to make broadband available to Kenyans. But now it cannot be used, not many people have this in their homes,” he complained.

Yes Dr, we need to cut out this nonsense!

Moving on, we also need Kenyans to stop sitting on their laurels and do something about connecting themselves to the information superhighway, creating content and addding value to the body of knowledge. Being mere consumers of pre-packaged, pro-Western content is unhealthy.

That is my 2-cents worth, what is yours? Comment below.

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2 comments so far

  1. zerorisk on

    i love the last part. i think kenyans need to do more to invest in there country and there own future. where are the isp entreprenuers who can challenge the system and provide better products. Business at the speed of thought.

  2. Sven B. Svensson on

    Well I sit on a 15-20 Mbits connection for 800ksh/month.
    And I tell you, they (my ISP) make a bundle of money out of that. Unlimited download of course. You are beeing ripped of by your isp´s Big Time!
    Kenya corporate style is the survival of the fattest.
    A thieving economy thats what it is….

    /S


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