A bout 2.7 million Kenyans are not accessing ICT services while 418 sub-locations have less than 50 per cent according to preliminary findings of a study commissioned by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) to establish the extent of access to ICT services in the country.
The ICT Access Gap study, undertaken by Canadian firm, Intelecon Research and Consultancy, provides insights on the existing disparities in access to ICTs and identifies gaps that will be addressed by the Universal Service Fund (USF).
According to the study, about 94.4 per cent of the population is covered by ICT services while 5.6 per cent remains un-served accounting for about 2.66 million people. Some 5,655 sub-locations (administrative units) have 100 per cent coverage, 418 sub-locations have less than 50 per cent coverage while 166 sub-locations have no coverage at all.
Speaking during the launch of the results, Dr Catherine Ngahu, chairperson of the Universal Service Advisory Council (USAC), said the study will give the current scenario of the ICT landscape that will be critical in decision making of what priorities to be given to the various deficiencies.
“This study is crucial to the development of the industry, as it will provide a roadmap for the Universal Service Fund Strategy. It will go a long way in unlocking the utilization of the Kshs 2.94 billion collected so far in addition to providing the much needed direction for the sector especially in deployment of broadband infrastructure,” said Dr Ngahu.
From the Kshs 2.94 billion USF Kitty, Kshs 1.5 billion has been set aside for the implementation of USF projects focusing on voice and broadband. Tenders for the infrastructure projects worth Kshs 1 billion will be advertised from September 2016 with emphasis on voice and broadband coverage in identified access gaps areas. Kshs 500 million will be used to support Internet connectivity in learning institutions across the country.
You can access the preliminary findings of the study here.