Fri. Sep 29th, 2023
President Ruto Optimistic About Starlink’s Potential to Revolutionize Internet Access in Kenya

President William Ruto recently visited SpaceX’s factory in Los Angeles and expressed his optimism regarding the potential impact of Elon Musk’s Starlink on internet access in Kenya. Speaking on X, the President called on Starlink to consider lowering the cost of internet access in the country, emphasizing its significance for Kenya’s digital economy.

Starlink, a subsidiary of SpaceX, is known for its innovative approach to global connectivity using a network of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. This technology has the power to bridge the digital divide by bringing high-speed internet access to remote areas that were previously underserved due to infrastructure limitations.

In July, SpaceX announced the availability of Starlink internet in Kenya. To access the service, customers need to pay a non-refundable booking fee of $99, along with Ksh89,000 ($628) for the kit that includes the Starlink dish, mounting stand, cables, and power source. Additionally, there is a Ksh3100 ($22) fee for shipping and installation, making the total initial cost Ksh92,100 ($650). Subscribers are also required to pay a monthly subscription fee of Ksh6500 ($46).

However, the cost of Starlink’s service is higher compared to local internet service providers (ISPs) such as Safaricom and Zuku, who offer fiber-powered broadband connections at a lower cost. Typically, customers only need to pay the monthly subscription charges without any additional fees for hardware components or cables.

To address the issue of cost and make Starlink more accessible to the general population in Kenya, President Ruto has encouraged the company to explore ways to reduce the price of internet access. Starlink has taken a step in this direction by partnering with connectivity firm Karibu Connect as an authorized reseller in Kenya, aiming to increase accessibility to Kenyan consumers.

President Ruto believes that Starlink’s investment has the potential to greatly enhance high-speed connectivity in remote villages, schools, and other institutions, unlocking the full potential of Kenya’s digital economy. As the collaboration between Starlink and Karibu Connect progresses, it is expected that more Kenyans will have access to the benefits of reliable and affordable internet connectivity.