CCK Director General Francis Wangusi CC image courtesy of chimgimode2007 on Flickr
The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has begun collecting the Universal Service Fund (USF) contributions from the country’s network operators, in a bid support widespread access to ICT services and promote capacity building and innovations.
The Kenya Communications (Amendment) Act, 2009, provides for the establishment of a USF, administered and managed by the CCK.
CCK released data earlier this year indicating at least KSh74 billion (US$856.5 million) was needed to supply telecommunications services in marginalised areas.
HumanIPO reported in October the USF will be operational by year end where it is projected that collections from the fund will reach KSh798 million (US$9.2 million) in the financial year 2013-14.
However operators have been protesting over their exclusion from the fund’s board when they will be making payment of the equivalent of 0.5 per cent of their revenue.
Speaking after being summoned to appear before the House Committee on Energy, Communications and Information regarding the fund, Francis Wangusi, director-general of the CCK, said the regulator has already opened an account and banked KSh1 billion (US$11.6 million) as part of its contribution.
“We have already invoiced the operators and they are expected to start remitting their contribution, which has been backdated to July of which some have already started paying,” Wangusi said.
According to data from the CCK, 72 per cent of Kenyans still do not have access to the internet, compared to 11 per cent who do not have access to voice services, hence the USF will help private investors increase universal access.