Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Director General Mr.Francis Wangusi (centre) addressing the press on vandalism of communications infrastructure in the country.He said the destruction is causing huge losses in the ICT industry,  compromising access to quality services by consumers and affecting other sectors.He is accompanied by Mr.Christopher Wambua (left),Acting Director, Consumer and Public Affairs and Mr. Perminus Karungu,Assistant Director in the Licensing,Compliance and Standards. 

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has condemned the destruction of communications infrastructure witnessed in some parts of the country, noting that it threatens to erode the massive investments and other gains made in the sector. Mobile operators have equally suffered huge losses and costs associated with restoring services in the affected areas.

The incidents of vandalism of the telecommunications infrastructure are attributed to terrorist attacks that took place in Mandera, Garissa and parts of Lamu Counties earlier in the year, as well as in Kisumu County in the aftermath of the just-concluded electioneering period.

While addressing the press today, Director General, Francis Wangusi said, ‘‘This worrying and dangerous trend has caused network and service outages in the affected areas thus putting the lives of Kenyans at risk, given the significant role that telecommunications services play in provision of emergency response and other basic critical services.’’

Mr. Wangusi warned that by vandalizing telecom infrastructure, criminals and terrorists are not only crippling the ICT industry, but are also jeopardizing other services such as banking and finance, emergency services, health services, national security and local businesses that rely on ICTs.

The destruction, he noted, compromises access to quality services by consumers for whom the very infrastructure has been set up.  “Most of the Base Transmitter Stations (BTS) deployed in the country accommodate a multiplicity of players through infrastructure sharing and colocation arrangements.’’ said Mr.Wangusi.  Vandalising one is always likely to have effect on services of other operators.

The Authority, through the Universal Service Fund (USF), is putting in place interventions to avail communications services to all in Kenya especially in areas where service gaps have been identified. However, the vandalism acts could easily degenerate all the efforts being made to ensure all Kenyans access communications services. 

The ICT Access Gaps study carried out by the Authority in 2016, indicated that it would require over Ksh. 70 billion close the existing ICT gaps in Kenya. The study also showed that 164 sub-locations out of the 7,149 in the country have no mobile network coverage, while 348 sub-locations have less than 30% mobile network coverage. 

He therefore called on all Kenyans to safeguard telecommunications and other critical infrastructure, which is key in the transformation of lives and boosting Kenya’s competitive edge globally.

You can read the full statement here