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FACTORS INFLUENCING COST OF INTERNET BANDWITH ACCESS BY END USERS IN KENYA: A CASE STUDY OF IWAY AFRICA LTD

Peter Muteru
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology


ABSTRACT

In early 1995 the internet came to Kenya. The big deal at the time was e-mail, as new as it was, presented the promise of even less expensive and more data transfer capability than the analogue-powered fax machine. The general objectives of this study was looking at the service providers’ cost factors and the role of the regulator and establish areas where improvements can be made in input cost application ,policy and increase access to the larger population of affordable internet services. The target population of the study was the commercial personnel of all the target population of the study was 10 internet service providers in the country registered under their umbrella bodies: Telecommunications Services Providers Organization of Kenya (TESPOK), Kenya ICT Federation (KIF). Three senior commercial personnel from each organization were purposively sampled for study because he/she will have all the information required in relation to investigation of the study and performance of the firm. A questionnaire was used to gather primary data. Secondary data was sourced from published books, government journals and the internet. Qualitative and quantitative techniques were used to analyze data. The study was beneficial to the Internet Service providers by providing insights on the cost factors and available competitive alternatives in the market and to the regulator who used various regimes to aid in the end users realizing more benefits by policy change and directing investment in areas that will drive price reductions. The study did not cover any other area outside the internet .The study was limited to the production factors quality of the connection, speed, global provider contracts, delivery technology to the cost of internet bandwidth.The study concludes that speed of connection; global provider contracts and regulator are significant in explaining the variations in the internet band width cost.The study recommends that companies should reduce international bandwidth costs (or improving quality of service to users) so as to avoid unnecessary long distance routings.


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