MP Yusuf Hassan wants answers on expiry of data bundles and internet down times

MP Yusuf Hassan is seeking answers on the expiry of unused data bundles and the widespread practice of internet speed throttling by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Kenya.

Hassan wants among other things for the Ministry of Information, Communication, and the Digital Economy to clarify the rationale behind time limitations on the validity of data service.

In his letter to National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula, he took issue with telecommunication companies and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) charging subscribers exorbitant prices for their data packages which are subject to expiry.

He said, “The high cost of data bundles coupled with these imposed expiry periods, has largely disadvantaged millions of Kenyans who are arbitrarily deprived of their unused data bundles, already paid for in full. The time limits imposed on the validity of data services have resulted in a waste of a great deal of subscribers’ money.”

According to the Communications Authority, mobile data subscriptions account for the largest contributor to internet subscriptions, as more Kenyans access the internet using mobile devices. As a result, Kenyans spend billions of shillings in subscribing to data packages offered by telecommunication companies and other ISPs, something Hassan wants Kenyans to get value for.

The MP wants the Ministry led by CS Eliud Owalo to explain, what legislative plans it intends to put in place to ensure ISPs extend bundle validity cycles and provide rollover of unused data options.

He further wants an explanation of what the ministry is doing to enhance e-infrastructure to boost the reliability of network coverage in the Country.

He asked for the “Immediate steps the ministry is taking to ensure consumers are entitled to the full enjoyment of bundles through curbing the widespread internet speed throttling?”

About 23 million Kenyans have access to the internet and the market is growing not only in Kenya but globally.  In 2021, the value of unused Safaricom airtime and data stood at KES 5.7 billion.

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