Building Owners in Kenya are demanding rent for Internet Switches placed in their building. I already mentioned this in a previous post – KDN Launch in Nakuru – where I pointed out why building owners need to stop with this craze of making a quick buck and in the process raising the costs of what has been billed as a last mile solution – providing reliable, high-bandwidth connectivity and internet access.
But even as I take issue with building owners, I must express my disappointment with the efforts being made to address this issue by ISPs like KDN. For instance, during the launch in Nakuru, the KDN C.E.O during his address asked who among the attendees were building owners and nobody raised their hands. And it is not because they were shy. For Mr. Wolf, the solution was simple, “we’ll just pass down the rent cost to your tenants.” But that is not what people who have been waiting for the Fibre Optic Cable to get here want to hear.
I looked at the organizers of the Launch in Nakuru together with KDN and wondered how they could have organized such a launch and overlooked such an important demography; building owners. Because at the end of the day, they are the ones to give the OK on whether these KDN switches will be put in their building and at what cost. They were the people that Mr. Wolf needed to make his case to when he asserted that KPLC, Water Companies, and Telkom Kenya were not being charged for placing similar devices in these buildings.
So as KDN moves on to launch in other towns in the country, I request them to ensure that they invite building owners. It is only by educating building owners and getting them to understand the value that Internet connectivity adds to their building that costs can remain low, connectivity high, and therefore productivity in terms of content creation.