Government requires Sh110 billion to provide broadband services countrywide

Ngahu noted that they will continue to identify gaps in communication and areas in the country with poor or no connection to mobile network so as to spur development in the areas.

In Summary

•Gituku said the resources available through the mechanism of the Universal Services Fund (USF) is inadequate to close the identified voice and services connectivity gaps across the country.

•She said that most of the funds used come from communication companies which contribute a small percentage of their revenue to the USF and at the moment they already have Sh.9 billion for the second phase which is not enough.

The government requires over Sh110 billion to connect the entire country to broadband services, Communications Authority (CA) chairman Ngene Gituku has said.

 Gituku said the resources available through the mechanism of the Universal Services Fund (USF) is inadequate to close the identified voice and services connectivity gaps across the country.

Gituku said that most of the funds used come from communication companies which contribute a small percentage of their revenue to the USF and at the moment they already have Sh.9 billion for the second phase which is not enough.

 

“I call upon other donors and well-wishers to come up and support this noble cause because we need Sh110 billion to connect all the parts of the country which are not currently covered by the existing mobile telephony for lack of return on investment,” he said.

He was speaking during the launch of the Universal Service Fund (USF) Voice Infrastructure project in Maji-Moto in Narok county.

In attendance were USF Chairperson Dr Catherine Ngahu, CA Acting Director General Mercy Wanjau and Kenya Postal Corporation chairman Nick Salat.

Ngahu said about 68 sub-locations in the country which were previously not linked to mobile telephony have been connected to mobile network by the Communications Authority through Universal Service Fund at a cost of Sh1.2 billion.

 “Currently we have connected 68 sub-locations out of the 78 sub-locations that we are targeting countrywide, during our first phase with the 10 remaining sub-locations being at different stages of competition.” She said.

The 68 sub-locations are spread in Narok, Turkana, West-Pokot, Samburu, Marsabit, Kajiado, Baringo, Isiolo, Mandera, Wajir, Garrisa, Kitui, Kilifi and Kwale counties.

Ngaho said under the Education Broadband Project which is also a component of the USF funded project, the authority is implementing internet connectivity to 887 public secondary schools in the 47 counties with 10 schools in Narok County already benefiting from the project.

 

Ngahu noted that they will continue to identify gaps in communication and areas in the country with poor or no connection to mobile network so as to spur development in the areas.

On her part, Wanjau said that this initiative will go a long way in reaching remote areas in the country often shunned by existing mobile network service providers for lack of return on their investments.

“These people are now socially connected to the rest of the country and will be able to communicate and get market for their produce contrary to when they were in the dark due to lack of connection,” she added.