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The Internet: Private commodity or public good?
Perceptions from the KICTANet 2017 ICT survey.

The Internet has a long history in Kenya, with its access having been launched in October 1995 on a
leased telephone line. Significant changes have since been recorded. Sector statistics reports from the
Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) covering the second and third quarters of the 2017/2018 financial
year indicated a steady increase in the number of Internet subscriptions across the country. There were 36
million Internet subscriptions across the country in the January – March 2018 quarter, up from 33.4 million in
the October – December 2017 quarter. In the July – September 2017 quarter, there were 30.9 million Internet
subscriptions across the country. This growth has been fueled by increased digitalization of services both in
the public and private sectors, and growth of social networking platforms.

This data was based on information provided by service providers. Additionally, there is a robust ICT
community of stakeholders engaging in niche areas that include: regulation and governance; infrastructure
provision and access; software and content development; and research.

ICTANet undertook this survey with various stakeholders to assess their perceptions of the performance
of the ICT sector in 2017. The survey focused on the following key areas: policy and legal issues, access,
infrastructure, and human capital/workforce. These key areas were developed from the ICT Wishlist initiative
where stakeholders listed priority areas which they felt the government and other stakeholders needed to
focus on. The Wishlist initiative was a community-driven engagement programme carried out in December
2015 among stakeholders from which emerged four key issues, namely: Policy and legal issues; Access;
Infrastructure; and Human capital/skills force.