Among the developed countries such as the US, telecommunication access is considered a human right and which is a directive by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union). Therefore in their goal to achieve universality every house hold has a connection point. Although such universal service in telecommunications may not be achievable in the developing world, there should be considerable effort towards the same. Universal service is achieved where all or almost all house holds have access to telecommunication services where else Universal access is an effort to have telecommunication services within a reachable distance.
Mobile telecommunication and wireless modem(broadband) technologies has played an important role in the developing countries towards universal service. Previously the governments in Africa had expanded their telephone networks so that call centers and old Telephone booths were found in almost every shopping center. Today all governments must set a Universal Access Fund to support expansion of both private and public telecoms for a wider coverage. To this end, the Kenyan government is doing good.
ICT is important, very important. We are in a revolution and access to information technology and communication services is key to moving us in the right direction. Although access and coverage of mobile services and 3G internet is relatively good, the cost of the same is extremely expensive. In comparison with the developed world, a poor Kenyan is paying more than five times an American pays for the same service.
It is purely out of greed that these multinationals overcharge us. With Fibre Optic infrastructure communication has never been this cheap compared to previous satellite networks where costs dropped from approximately US$ 2,500 per megabyte to US$ 400 per megabyte. Why then are we paying almost the same to access the same bandwidth?
The government and the national regulator, CAK(formerly CCK) to be specific is to blame for this. They have not created policies to this effect. This explains why Safaricom makes over Kshs21Billion in profit, they call it efficiency but I don't believe their mother company Vodafone makes even an eighth of this in Britain. It is similar to the rates Banks in Kenya charge at an average of 20% because this is a high risk market, they say. The same banks charge 2% in their western mother countries but this is a story for another day. NKT.