NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s telecommunications industry regulator
said on Monday it requires about 2.5 billion U.S. dollars for
broadband connectivity across the country.
chairman of the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), said
whereas the Universal Service Fund (USF) was established with
the express purpose of supporting widespread access to
information and communications technology (ICT) services,
resources available through the mechanism are immensely
Service Fund has so far collected a total of 71 million dollars.
The budget envisaged to close the initial voice and service gaps
is estimated at 115 million dollars, whereas closing all the
identified voice connectivity gaps in their entirety requires in
excess of 75 million dollars,” Gituku said.
The Fund, which
Kenya established in 2009 to promote capacity-building and
innovation in ICT services in the country, is supported through
levies the government collects from telecom operators and other
players on licences as well as grant and services and finances
national projects in rural, remote and poor urban areas.
“I urge all
stakeholders and licensees to work with the Authority by
contributing to the Fund to ensure they meet their respective
licence obligations in respect to infrastructure and service
roll-out in order to fast-track the realization of universal
access to ICT services,” the chairman said.
He said the CA is in
the process of completing the Education Broadband and the Voice
Infrastructure projects, adding that the board remains committed
to ensuring that all ongoing and future USF projects are
undertaken professionally in order to realize the statutory
mandate of universal access to ICT services.
“This commitment is
inspired by our recognition of the potential of ICTs in the
realization of the government’s Big-Four Agenda, Vision 2030,
and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he noted.
CA Director General
Francis Wangusi said while the majority of the licensees have
been remitting their contributions to the USF kitty, they were
also grappling with a number of licensees who have not been
consistent in their remittances.
stated that the Authority is engaging them with a view to
ensuring that they all comply with the provisions of the law.
connectivity program shall be scaled up to facilitate the
closure of the broadband internet gap in learning institutions
and other public institutions to enable access to online
curriculum materials and government services,” Ngahu said.
chairman of the Universal Service Advisory Council (USAC), said
within the next five years, the Fund intends to implement a
broad range of projects, spanning through the entire spectrum of
ICT services that fall within the regulatory mandate of the