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New ICT laws effected

NAIROBI, August 16 – The Government has adopted a unified licensing and technology neutral regulatory framework in order to enable optimum utilisation of the existing infrastructure.

Telecommunication Operators and Service providers will now be licensed under a revised market structure divided into three broad licensing segments: Network facilities Provider, Application Service Provider and the Content Services Providers.

Under the Network Facilities Provider category, the operator shall own and run any form of communication, based on satellite, terrestrial and mobile of fixed line infrastructure.

Licensees under the Application Service Provider group will provide all forms of services to their clients using the network services of a facilities provider while Content Service Providers will supply content service materials, other information and data processing services.

In a gazette notice issued by the Minister for Information and Communication, Samuel Poghisio, and dated August 4, 2008, the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) ha been instructed ensure a smooth transition to the Unified Licensing Framework (ULF) which will facilitate an easy migration process for operators wishing move to the new licensing structure.

CCK is also expected to ensure that operators who wish to migrate to the new structure retain their existing licenses under the original terms.

Poghisio said the reviewed licensing structure is consistent with the government\’s commitment to fostering a predictable and attractive regulatory environment capable of attracting the promoting investment in the telecommunication sector.

The Minister said that in a bid to ensure a smooth transition to the ULF, horizontal migration will not attract any charges.  

According to the gazette notice the new policy framework focuses on establishing a market structure capable of attracting investment into the sector and allowing for the creation of a versatile information and communication infrastructure for leveraging national development.

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Poghisio has directed that the market structure will be reviewed from time to time in line with changing market needs and technological trends.

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