Seacom is talking internet rates. Mr Julius Opio who is the SEACOM’s East Africa head says “internet prices in Kenya can significantly drop if backhaul and last mile connectivity is properly achieved”.
Mr. Opio was speaking at American chamber of commerce conference held at Intercontinental Hotel. He says that the unregulated way of deploying the two important fibre links to end users means ICT companies in Kenya are spending a huge amount of their resources on ensuring the connections are in place.
To say it streaight, Mr Opio is not making sense to anybody who knows this industry. Ok hear this if you still think he does make sense. “We need a regulated way to deploy fibre in Kenya in a cost effective and efficient way using international standards,” says Opio. In essence, Mr Opio wants the government to be the business strategists of operators. A good government should let an operator decide on how it wants to to do business as long as it is within the law.
You cant tell the government to only force operators to deploy fibre links in a certain way. No. A good government let the market have choices. If you choose to deploy it in the most expensive way, be ready to incur costs.
He though says that although there has been progress in the last mile fibre connectivity in the last 3 years, the initiatives have been spearheaded by individual Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Operators as opposed to being guided by policy.
Internet uptake in Kenya last year stood at approximately 7.8 million. The figure is set to increase to 8.6 million by the end of this month.
Opio though says that the stage is set for a digital revolution, and predicts that in 1 to 3 years, consumer spending will go online.
According to SEACOM, iconic inventions like mobile money transfer services, will become web based, even as there will be major transformations in content management with people accessing TV programs and news from the Internet, through Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) solutions.
Opio says with high speed broadband capacity now available in Kenya, global businesses will be hosted in the country, while Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) will seek to outsource some of their services like data hosting and network security, software services like payroll; Human Resource and Enterprise Systems.