USAID helps CCK develop broadband, universal service plans

12 Mar 2012

The US government will extend technical assistance to Kenya in developing ICT strategies relating to broadband deployment and universal access, the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has announced. According to an agreement signed between the CCK and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the US government will assist the Kenyan watchdog in developing strategies to stimulate universal access to ICT services in underserved and un-served areas of the country. Citing the CCK’s ‘ICT Access Gaps’ study undertaken last year, the watchdog’s director-general Francis W. Wangusi said that close to 1,120 sub-locations out of the 7,149 in the country have no access to basic communication services. This situation, he added, called for urgent regulatory intervention. The assistance, which will be provided through the USAID’s Global Broadband and Innovations (GBI) initiative, will also assist the CCK in developing the management of its Universal Service Fund (USF). According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, at end-December 2011 Kenya’s fixed line broadband penetration stood at under 1%, with just 50,000 subscribers nationwide.