Members of parliament passed a motion on Wednesday to compel the National Government to provide every constituency with free secure Wi-Fi.
The motion stated that the free Wi-Fi must be of high quality and free of any risk. Nominated Member of Parliament Godfrey Osotsi, who tabled the motion said that internet is one of the most powerful tools in the world for communication, information, and access to services.
“Technological innovations associated with the transition to the next generation networks are already transforming the way universal access is being extended to rural and remote areas in both developed and developing countries and to a large extent, this transformation is being fueled by emerging networking technologies,” said Osotsi.
Reports have on numerous occasions indicated that an estimated 49 percent of the population does not access the internet and the report recommended that the digital divide requires tangible, consistent and collective action to fill the gap.
“This House resolves that the government, through incentive-driven public-private partnerships, provides free, secure, risk-free and high-quality Wi-Fi services in every constituency,” Speaker Justin Muturi noted as he posed the question for adoption.
The passing of the motion reminds Kenyans of the promise made to them during the campaign period which was forgotten as soon as the elected individuals took to the office.
Internet services are however not cheap and though the motion is a great idea, its timing may not be ripe yet. The Country is faced with more serious problems that need to first be attended to before providing free Wi-Fi.
Most Kenyans are not aware of how to use the internet and a majority of those that do are ignorant of the cyber-crime laws.
The Internet is an important tool of communication that has built lives, brought individuals together and literally saved lives but, still, it is the same tool that has taken away lives, for example, the suicidal cases caused by online bullying and watered down our societal morals.
Free internet will excite many especially the youth who have by now gotten hooked to smart devices more than their books but before bringing it to our constituencies, is it a priority that deserves the taxpayer’s money? As long as Kenya remains just that, this is another cash cow that will see a few greedy elements amass wealth at the expense of the common mwananchi.