Aldai Member of Parliament Maryanne Kitany has submitted a proposal in the National Assembly requesting government regulation of internet billing by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) through the ICT Ministry. Kitany contends that the current data costs pose a potential threat to technological advancement and innovation in the country.
Given the government’s emphasis on digitalization and automating public services, Kitany emphasizes the necessity of reducing data expenses to prevent a significant portion of Kenyan citizens from being excluded from the digital sphere. She notes that as the country rapidly adopts digital services and processes, the high expenses associated with data, internet services, and the purchase of internet-enabled devices could result in digital exclusion for many Kenyans.
Recognizing this, Kitany proposes that Internet Service Providers should be mandated to offer users a “metered billing of internet use based on consumption.” She believes this approach will help alleviate exploitation and protect the economic interests of internet users, in accordance with Article 46 of the Constitution.
Kitany’s plan involves requiring the ICT Ministry to instruct Internet Service Providers to create and implement high-quality metered billing systems capable of monitoring user usage, converting this data into understandable details, generating invoices based on consumption, and aligning their pricing metrics with the value customers derive from various internet services.
President William Ruto has pledged to expand broadband internet access throughout the country by constructing a 100,000 km national fiber optic connectivity network, as part of the Kenya Digital Master Plan (2022-2030). Additionally, the government is committed to fostering collaboration between industrial and academic institutions and other innovators to invest in emerging technologies, thereby creating high-quality jobs that leverage artificial intelligence, robotics, and other advanced technologies.