High prices of mobile phones and Internet subscriptions have caused a huge disparity in access between rural and urban areas, an international rights lobby has said.
According to the 2013 Freedom on the Net report, an average user pays about Sh3,000 for data services and much higher rates for 3G networks yet the monthly wage of an unskilled employee is Sh4, 258.
"The high cost of mobile devices and Internet subscriptions remains a stumbling block for many impoverished Kenyans to access the web," the report said.
"The growth in mobile phone subscribers can be attributed to the popularity of mobile handsets as a medium of communication and the increasing availability of value added mobile services such as Internet, entertainment and mobile money transfer," the report said.
The lobby cautioned that while Internet penetration continued to increase there was need to overcome the challenges to equitable access throughout the country.
The report showed that prior to the electioneering period there had been no reports of the government employing any form of technical filtering or administrative censorship to restrict access to content on the Internet.
"There were no reported cases of government abuse of online surveillance in the past year nor are there any known requirements for ICT service providers to proactively monitor their users.
In addition, users did not face any extra-legal intimidation or violence nor were there any politically motivated cases of technical violence against civil society or opposition websites," the lobby said.
Through the communications regulatory body, the government set up preemptive measures in the last quarter of 2012 like prescreening and approval of bulk text messaging by service providers to curb the spread of inflammatory messages and hate speech via ICT.
CCK last year announced a new requirement to service providers to instal the Internet traffic monitoring equipment called the network early warning system by December in order to reduce the increasing number of cyber threats.
A day before the election the commission reported that it had blocked around 300,000 text messages that had the potential to incite violence.
Citizen lab, an international Internet research group, the lobby said, had discovered a device that can help control undesirable traffic by filtering according to content category in January this year though there was no evidence to reveal the extent to which the Blue Coat Packet Shaper device had been implemented.
Despite the close monitoring systems implemented access of content over the internet remains considerably free in
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