Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Director General Mr.Francis Wangusi takes Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka (second right) around the CA stand at the Bungoma edition of the county ICT consumer Forum known as Kikao Kikuu.The forum hosted by the Authority seeks to give ICT consumers a platform to discuss various issues pertaining to ICTs. Bungoma is the 12th county to host the forum.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is set to connect 54 public secondary schools in Bungoma County to high speed Internet.

This is part of plan that will see CA link all public secondary schools in the country to broadband Internet at a cost of Ksh800 million under the Universal Service Fund (USF).

Already the Authority, through the Ministry of Education has identified 896 schools it has earmarked to connect to the high speed Internet during the financial year 2016/2017.

The Authority will support the project for four years 100 per cent funding in the first year, while in the second year CA will contribute 75 per cent of the cost with the Ministry of Education financing 25 per cent.

In the third year, the Authority and the education ministry will split the costs equally at 50 per cent while in the fourth year, the CA will contribute a quarter of the costs with the Ministry of Education shouldering 75 per cent of the total costs.
CA Director General Mr.Francis Wangusi said the schools were selected based on their ICT readiness, meaning that they had to have computer labs and must have enrolled their students for Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) Computer examinations.

“We have entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Education to identify the Schools. So far we have identified 896 secondary schools,” Mr Wangusi said on Thursday at Bungoma Airstrip during the twelfth edition of the Communications Authority of Kenya’s ICT Consumer Forum dubbed Kikao Kikuu.

“We believe this is going to be a foundation through which we will grow our capacity in ICT and also enable our young children to start developing their critical skills in ICTs,” Mr Wangusi added.

The Universal Service Fund has so far has collected Ksh.4.7 Billion. The Fund was established in 2009 to subsidize the cost of ICT infrastructure roll out and expansion in un-served and underserved areas.

The Fund is primarily financed through mandatory contributions by licensed operators who contribute O.5 per cent of their gross revenue.

Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka said, his county is very keen to work closely with the national government and its agencies such as Communications Authority to ensure they take full advantage of ICTs and the potential it has to spur innovation.

“The possibility of Bungoma County and by extension our country Kenya becoming a knowledge based society hinges on the harnessing of ICT capabilities,” Governor Lusaka noted.

Last month the Authority announced plans to connect five secondary schools in Kwale County to broadband.
Kikao Kikuu is a County ICT Consumer forum hosted by the Authority to engage users of ICT services on the quality of services as well as ICT opportunities in the various counties.

Additionally, the Authority is also devolving its and already has a regional office in Eldoret covering 12 counties of the north rift and the larger western regions. It is set to open other offices in Kisumu and Nyeri in the coming year.

You can read the speech by the CA Director General here.

Communications Authority of Kenya Director General Mr.Francis Wangusi (centre) addressing the press on the revised Broadcast Signal Distribution charges.The prices have been redced by between 29-60 per cent.He is accompanied by Eng.Leo Boruett,Director,Multimedia Services (left) and Mr. Matano Ndaro,Director, Competition,Tarrifs and Market Analysis (right).

Television broadcasters will pay lower monthly signal distribution fees following a downward review by the industry regulator, Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).

The review follows a CA study undertaken by Analysys Mason, a UK consultancy firm, which recommended that Broadcast Signal Distributors (BSD) charges must not exceed a certain recommended price cap.

Under the new rates, broadcasters will pay Sh89, 545 per megabit per month for signal distribution within Nairobi and its environs — down from the current Sh125, 990 translating into a 29 per cent reduction.

The cost of distributing digital signals in other major towns will come down by 60 per cent to Sh37, 311 from the previous Sh93, 202. The television broadcasters will now pay 32,961 monthly fees for signal distribution within remote areas.

The reduction of the monthly fees is a big win for new broadcasters on the digital platform who have previously complained about expensive distribution costs charged by the two signal distributors, Pan Africa Network Group (PANG) and KBC-owned Signet.

CA Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi said the objective of the cost modeling study was to review the existing BSD charging framework in Kenya, taking into account the prevailing market developments and provide a comparative analysis of the current situation with international best practices.

‘’The cost-modelling would ensure that the tariffs arrived at give Signal Distributors a reasonable return on their investment without levying unjustifiably high charges to content developers/providers thereby constraining access to the digital platform to the detriment of consumers,’’

The monthly fee is set to increase slightly year on year, to factor in inflation, in the subsequent three years to 2019.
The new rates became effective on 1st December 2016. Broadcasters within Nairobi will pay Sh89, 545 in per megabit for signal distribution in 2016, Sh91, 753 in 2017 and Sh93, 411.

Those in other major towns this year pay Sh37, 311, Sh38, 306 in 2017 and Sh39, 074 in 2018.

In 2013 the CA introduced a fee of Sh125, 990 per megabit for Nairobi and its environs, and Sh93, 202.75 for other areas in Kenya, from the previous Sh1.135 million charged per channel and Sh248, 141 per megabit for signal distribution services within Nairobi.

The new BSD framework consists of two main components: a price cap for broadcasting charges on a new cost model, and a Reference Access Offer (RAO) describing the services to be provided to broadcasters by the two national BSD operators.

The study also recommended that all channels must pay all the listed charges for the services used, except that the charges for must-carry channels included in pay-TV bouquets are to be paid by the pay-TV provider rather than the channel.

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Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary Mr.Sammy Itemere (left)  and Communications Authority of Kenya (CA)  Board Chairman Mr. Ngene Gituku address golfers during the prize giving ceremony of the Nyali Golf tournament in Mombasa, which was sponsored by CA.The Authority has been sponsoring  golf tournaments at the club for the past four years. 

The Authority today sponsored a golf tournament at the Nyali Golf Course in Mombasa County, which attracted professional and amateur golfers across the golfing fraternity.

More than 150 golfers participated in the tournament with the Board of Directors and top management participating as sponsors of the event. Also present were Principal Secretaries from the ministry of Information, Communications and Technology Mr. Sammy Itemere and Eng. Victor Kyalo.

This is the fourth time in a row that the Authority is sponsoring a golf tournament at the club and comes right after a series of corporate events at the Coastal region. The events included the County ICT consumer forum dubbed Kikao Kikuu in Kwale County held on October 27 and a CSR event to handover 50 computers and other ICT accessories to Kwale Boys High School.

Addressing golfers, CA Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi said the Authority would stay on course in its mandate to provide access to and use of ICT services by all in Kenya by the year 2018.

“In deed it is worth noting that CA shall in the next one month facilitate broadband connectivity to close to 900 schools countrywide with financing from the Universal Service Fund. This support shall transform the lives of current and future students of the beneficiary institutions”, said Mr. Wangusi.

The CA Board Chairman Mr. Ngene Gituku handed over CA’s Ksh100,000 donation to the Club’s Caddies Association which deals with caddies’ welfare.

Mr. John Omo, the Authority’s Director of Legal Services, was declared the overall winner with 42 points followed by Japheth Obonyo, a member of the club who managed to garner 40 points.

The Authority sponsors three annual Golf tournaments annually and the Nyali edition was the third one this year after Vetlab and Kiambu Golf tournaments.