@Standard

Communication operators shunning marginalized areas, committee told - 5 days ago, 10:35

Michael Chepkwony

Mobile network operators are hesitant to provide services in marginalised areas over returns.

Despite creation of the Universal Service Fund (USF) in 2009 to finance the provision of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services in remote areas, some 201 sub-locations across the country have not been reached.

The companies have kept off these areas because they lack commercials viability.

USF was established through Kenya Communications (Amendment) Act, 2009, and is managed by Communications Authority of Kenya.

Besides donations, its funding is drawn from contributions by stakeholders, including Telkom Kenya and Safaricom, where each remits 0.5 per cent of their annual revenues.

Yesterday, Telkom Kenya told the Senate Committee on ICT that lack of a level playing field among competitors has seen many marginalised areas neglected.

They are keeping off the remote areas because they are not guaranteed of profits.

Some of the areas are grappling with insecurity, impassable roads ...
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