, NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 4 – The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has contracted Intelecon Research and Consultancy Limited to undertake an ICT Access Gaps Study 2015 in Kenya.
Once completed, the study will inform part of the implementation of Universal Service Fund (USF) programmes.
The USF was created through the Kenya Information Communication Act to be supported by operators through contribution of 0.5 percent of the gross turnover.
The fund seeks to leverage on operation cost in high cost areas in addition to building a spurring innovation in the sector.
CA Director General Francis Wangusi says the licensed operators have so far accumulated Sh2.9 billion in the USF as at October 30, 2015.
Wangusi says the study will take 52 weeks, is expected to, among other things, assess communication gaps across the country, develop an interactive online portal for the gaps indicating interventions by the Universal Service Fund as well as determine the cost of rolling out services and the requisite subsidies.
The last ICT Access Gaps Study was conducted in 2010 and helped identify voice gaps in 1,119 sub locations, data gaps in 4,375 sub locations and a deficit of 147 sub post offices.
It further gave an indication of the financial resources that would be required including recommendations of relevant actions to narrow the gaps.
“This project aims to connect all the administrative centres, public institutions and community information centres in the respective areas. The Authority is convinced that this important study will go a long way in ensuring the spirit behind creation of USF,” he added.
The universal access parameters were set by International Telecommunication Union at five kilometres as the minimum target to ICT facilities.
Kenya’s ICT sector now boasts of 83.9 percent mobile penetration and 69 percent Internet penetration.