L-R: Mr. Matano Ndaro,Director, Competition, Tarrif and Market Analysis at the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), Director General Mr.Francis Wangusi and CA Chairman Mr.Ngene Gituku during a press briefing on the roll out of the Education Broadband Connectivity Project for 896 public secondary schools across the country. The project is funded by the Universal Service Fund (USF), established by law to address disparities in access to communications services.

The Authority has today awarded contracts to three companies contracted to roll out high-speed Internet connectivity to 896 public secondary schools in Kenya under the first phase of implementation of Universal Access Fund projects.

Liquid Telcom Ltd, Xtranet Communications Ltd and Commcarrier Satellite Services Ltd were awarded the contract to undertake the Education Broadband Connectivity Project that will also see select tertiary institutions benefit from high-speed Internet connectivity beginning this year.

The three firms beat 11 other companies in a competitive tendering process to implement the initial programme in the project at a cost of Ksh.836 million.

CA chairman Mr.Ngene Gituku said the 898 secondary schools would be connected to five (5) Mbps Internet through the Universal Service Fund (USF), which is established by law to finance regulatory interventions towards ensuring universal access to ICT services across the country.

‘‘The schools were identified through an e-Readiness criterion agreed upon between the Authority and the Ministry of Education. The institutions were expected to have secure electricity supply from Kenya Power or a constant local diesel or solar powered generator station,’’ said Mr. Gituku.

The schools were also expected to have a secure computer lab with UPS and at least 10 computers in good working order, printer and projector and at least one full-time TSC teacher for computer studies.

The Education Broadband Connectivity Project is one of the two key projects recommended for immediate implementation following an ICT Access Gaps study commissioned by the Authority in the 2015/ 16 financial year to determine the levels of access to Information and Communications services in the country.

‘‘The two projects identified for the initial phase were the ‘Voice Infrastructure Project for 2G mobile services in selected sub-locations’ and the ‘Education Broadband Connectivity Project’ geared towards providing high-speed Internet connectivity to learning institutions in the country,’’ said Mr. Gituku.

The first group of schools set to be commissioned in six weeks.

Mr. Gituku said the project will spur increased broadband connectivity in all parts of the country including rural areas where the beneficiary schools are located.

‘‘The project will greatly improve education through digital learning by enabling access to online content by student and teachers. This will be actualized through creation of an education portal with digitized KCSE curriculum,’’ added Mr. Gituku.

It is envisaged that the beneficiary schools will contribute greatly to ICT capacity building and innovation across the country through training for teachers and the students.

‘‘It is the beginning of a long journey towards building a digitally inclusive community that places ICTs firmly at the centre of socio-economic development,’’ said Mr. Gituku.

CA Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi said the project complements other initiatives that have been put in place by the Authority to enhance access to communications services in various parts of the country. Currently, the Authority has partnered with the Kenya National Library Services to establish 46 e-resource centres across Kenya.

According to the ICT Access Gaps study, 5.6 % of the population or about 2.66 million people have no access to telecommunication services. About 418 sub-locations have less than half of their population covered by communications services while another 164 sub-locations have no access to 2G mobile services.

The study established that 3G and broadband services are limited to urban areas. Only 2,454 sub-locations have 100% population coverage of 3G and broadband while 1,244 sub-locations have no access to this service at all.   

 

You can read the Press Statement here.

CA’s Ag. Director Frequency Spectrum Management  Mr. Tom Olwero delivers the remarks on behalf of Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi during the forum.

Telecommunications network providers will be required to submit a network redundancy and resilience report on quarterly basis to the Authority, once the guidelines on the same are complete.

The guidelines to provide regulatory interventions and appropriate procedures for use by network operators and service providers are expected to be complete by end of April, following a final stakeholders’ consultation workshop held on Thursday.

The Thursday meeting came on the backdrop of a successful survey by M/S Interconnect Communications Company, a firm contracted by the Authority to among other things, document strategies currently put in place by network operators and service providers to ensure network redundancy, resilience and diversity.

The consultant was also tasked with the development of a regulatory intervention framework and appropriate guidelines that will provide for redundancy, resilience and diversity of telecommunication networks in Kenya.

“Network operators and service providers will be required, on a quarterly basis, to submit compliance reports to enable the Authority determine achievement of the network redundancy, resilience and diversity metrics,” said Francis Wangusi, Director General, Communications Authority of Kenya.

“At the onset, the Authority will observe and analyze these returns for a period of three (3) years. The Authority will then initiate further consultations with the stakeholders to establish compliance thresholds.”

The Thursday meeting provided an opportunity for the ICT stakeholders to give their final inputs. The Authority expects to finalize the guidelines by the end of the month.

The objective of the Authority in coming up with the network redundancy and resilience guidelines is to enhance the availability and reliability of ICT networks in the country.

Murang’a Shuttle Services is among 13 entities that were raided by the Authority in a nationwide crackdown on illegal postal/courier services.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has raided 13 illegal postal/courier operators in a nationwide crackdown to weed out unlicensed service providers.

CA’s enforcement officers have in the past two weeks combed Muranga, Kirinyaga, Laikipia, Marsabit, Isiolo and Meru counties in which members of the 13 entities, mostly matatu cooperatives, were arrested and charged in court on diverse dates.

The suspects were charged with operating postal services without a valid licence contrary to section 67(d) of the Kenya Information and Communication Act No. 2 of 1998.

The entities affected include Murang’a Shuttle, Mt. Kenya Shuttle, Empire Logistics, Nanaisio Shuttle Sacco Ltd, Inana Sacco, Liban Bus Services, Machi Modern Bus, Waso Liner Bus, Moyale Star Executive Bus and Northern City Coaches.

Others are Moyale Liner Bus Services, Kensilver Express and Moyale Raha Transporters.

CA Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi has issued a stern warning to those operating courier services through such entities without the requisite courier licence adding that anyone intending to start any business in the ICT industry must obtain the relevant license from the Authority.

‘‘It’s an offense, punishable by a fine not exceeding Ksh. 200,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both, to offer postal services without a relevant licence from CA. Members of the public are cautioned to only seek services from persons holding relevant valid license from the authority,’’ said Mr.Wangusi.

Operators are expected to display the licence authorizing them to offer particular ICT services and where in doubt, consumers are encouraged to verify with the Authority.

Prospective licensees and members of the public can acquaint themselves with regulations governing the operation of a postal/courier establishments from the Authority’s website http://www.ca.go.ke/index.php/postal-and-courier

‘‘Consumers are also advised to keep receipts from any transactions to facilitate complaint resolution in case of any dispute with respect to ICT goods or services,’’ added Mr.Wangusi.

The Authority is in the process of degazetting non-compliant courier licensees.

The crackdown on illegal postal/courier operators continues in other parts of the country.