[Nairobi, 26 June 2000] – The national telecoms provider for Kenya, Telkom Kenya
Ltd revealed last week that it intends to enter the Internet Service Provider business in
the region, much to the dismay of Kenyan Parliamentary members.
Telkom Kenya recently had their three year telecoms monopoly in the region extended
by an additional two years.
Telkom’s intention to enter the ISP market was revealed in the Kenyan Parliament by
Information Transport and Communications Assistant Minister Mathias Keah in
response to a question by Rangwe MP Shem Ochuodho.
The Minister confirmed that an application had been made to the Communications
Commission of Kenya by Telkom Kenya Ltd requesting permission to enter the
Internet services market.
“The commission has received representation from other ISP operators and I do not
want to pre-empt their decision now,” Keah commented.
Parliamentary members responded strongly to the Minister’s confirmation of Telkom’s
application. Kimilili MP Mukhisa Kituyu for the Ford-K party suggested that the
telephony monopoly will give Telkom Kenya an unreasonably strong platform for the
development of Internet services.
He cautioned that the company will be in a position to effectively dominate and control
Internet services in the country should the application be approved.
National Development Party leader Raila Odinga warned too that the five year
monopoly will undermine the spirit of liberalization in the country.
In response to this, Assistant Minister Keah responded that the extension of the
monopoly was decided upon in order to provide the telecoms provider with greater
financial stability while in the transition phase of its operations.