With regard to the "who gets what" discussion, I am informed by a
local customer of KPTC that of the approximately $12,000 paid for a
128kbps line, only about $3000 is "exported". A 64kbps line is only
a bit cheaper, perhaps $10,000 a month -- my notes are back in the
USA somewhere -- sorry for the vagueness.
> I am inclined to believe that about half of that is paid to the
> other carrier.
Shem, you may very well be right, but that contradicts what my other
contact in Nairobi told me. Is there anyway we can find out for
> Well if you have a big dish, like the 12-14metre ones most PTTs
> have, then Intelsat will sell you a 64Kbps circuit for about $700 a
> month, then there are the groundstation transit charges etc, but
> the total can't be much more than $1000/mnth inclusive of both ends
> - so you can see where the PTTs make all their profits....
OK, as a benchmark, the lowest available cost to deliver a 64kbps
TCP/IP link from end to end (duplex I believe the gurus call it) is
about $1000 per month. If the price charged to ISPs in Kenya is
$10,000 per month, then KPTC may be extracting as much as $9,000 per
month in monopoly rents. I call it monopoly rents because, as Shem
points out, KPTC doesn't allow competition, e.g. from private VSAT.
But it would be nice to hear what KPTC has to say about that.
Wouldn't want to be unfair! 8*)
What fascinates me is that Africa Online and ARCC and FormNet can
all pay that fee to KPTC, plus the annual license fees, plus some
fee for monthly Internet access on the international side, plus all
kinds of other operating expenses, and STILL generate enough
revenues to cover costs, while charging prices that are not
particularly high. (I'm just assuming they're all covering costs...
Think how low prices could be in a truly competitive market. As low
as in the USA? Are the high prices generally seen in Africa
(compared to the USA) attributable to monopoly telecoms pricing?
Mark mentioned private sector firms charging "whatever they can get
away with". I guess I haven't seen any ISPs getting really rich out
there. The place where prices don't seem to be more or less in line
with costs is with some of the PTTs.
Jeff @ Johannesburg
AfricaLink -- http://www.info.usaid.gov/alnk