Ruto urges Elon Musk’s Starlink to reduce internet access costs

By , K24 Digital
On Sun, 17 Sep, 2023 21:33 | 2 mins read
President William Ruto during his visit to SpaceX in Los Angeles. PHOTO/Ruto(@WilliamRuto)/x
President William Ruto during his visit to SpaceX in Los Angeles. PHOTO/Ruto(@WilliamRuto)/x

President William Ruto voiced his optimism about the potential of Elon Musk's Starlink to revolutionize internet access in Kenya.

In a post on X after his visit to SpaceX factory in Los Angeles, the President urged Starlink to consider reducing the cost of internet access in the country, highlighting the significant potential it holds for Kenya's digital economy.

"Starlink presents a promising solution for achieving universal internet access by overcoming traditional infrastructure limitations. Their investment has the ability to significantly enhance high-speed connectivity in remote villages, schools, and various institutions across the country, thus unlocking the full potential of our digital economy," President Ruto said on Sunday.

Starlink, a part of SpaceX, is making waves in the field of global connectivity by leveraging a constellation of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites.

This technology has the potential to bridge the digital divide by providing high-speed internet access to remote areas that were previously underserved due to traditional infrastructure limitations.

Starlink cost in Kenya

SpaceX announced the availability of Starlink internet in Kenya in July.

Customers are required to pay a non-refundable booking fee of $99, in addition to Ksh89,000 ($628) for the kit, which includes the Starlink dish, mounting stand, cables, and a power source.

There is also a Ksh3100 ($22) fee for shipping and installation, bringing the total initial cost to Ksh92,100 ($650). Furthermore, subscribers must pay a monthly subscription fee of Ksh6500 ($46).

In comparison, local internet service providers (ISPs) like Safaricom and Zuku offer fibre-powered broadband connections at a fraction of Starlink's cost.

Customers typically only pay monthly subscription charges and receive complimentary hardware components such as routers from their ISPs. Local ISPs also provide free ethernet cables, whereas Starlink charges an additional fee.

To address these cost concerns and make Starlink more accessible to the general population in Kenya, President Ruto encouraged Starlink to explore ways to reduce the cost of internet access in the country.

Starlink has already taken steps in this direction by partnering with connectivity firm Karibu Connect as an authorized reseller in Kenya.

This collaboration aims to make Starlink services more accessible to Kenyan consumers.

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