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Local authorities to blame for high cost of Internet

By | December 11th 2010 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

By FREDRICK OBURA

Internet service providers have blamed local authorities, landlords and cable vandals for high cost of Internet despite the landing of fibre optic cables.

According to the operators, inconsistent fees charged by local government authorities on laying cable infrastructure continue to undermine the process of offering affordable Internet.

"There is a problem with the implementation of by-laws. We have issues with sections of the law that allow local authorities to adjust fees haphazardly on cable installation within their jurisdiction," said Jamii Telecommunications Chief Executive Officer, CK Joshua.

"The council authorities need to realise the importance of Internet in running various operations and offer it same treatment as it does to other utility infrastructure like in water and electricity," he said. He called on the local authorities to consider reviewing Cap 265, which offers leeway to officials to increase fees charged on laying fibre optic cables at their own will.

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Cost of internet

With the landing of three fibre optic cables, (TEAMS, SEACOM, EASSY) and a fourth one LION expected soon, the prices of internet have reasonably reduced from the previous about $5,000 per megabyte to the current $200 charged on a megabyte. Other telecommunication operators, however, predict further price reduction if strategies to rope in more Internet users are adopted.

Nzioka Waita, former Safaricom head of legal and regulatory affairs said the industry regulator; Communication Commission of Kenya should review its regulations on last mile to help service providers reach remotest areas uncovered by fibre.


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