The government will roll out the Education Connectivity Broadband from next month, Communications Authority Director General Francis Wangusi has said.
Education Connectivity Broadband and the Voice Infrastructure are the two main projects initiated since operationalization of the Universal Service Fund.
The fund was established to address disparities in access to ICT services in Kenya. All licencees in the ICT sector contribute 0.5 per cent of their annual gross turnover to the kitty.
The first phase will connect 896 public secondary schools across the 47 counties before the end of the financial year 2017/2018.
Wangusi said the project is guided by findings from an ICT Access Gaps study to determine the levels of access to information and communications services in the country. It will be funded by the Universal Service Fund that has collected slightly over Sh5 billion from operators.
The study revealed that 5.6 per cent of the population or about 2.66 million people have no access to telecommunication services.
Some 418 sub-locations have less than half of their population covered by communications services while another 164 sub-locations have no access to 2G mobile services at all.
The study established that 3G and broadband services are limited to urban areas only. Only 2,454 sub-locations have 100 per cent population coverage of 3G and broadband while 1,244 sub-locations have no access to this service at all.
The regulator also inaugurated six of the nine members of the Universal Service Advisory Council after their re-appointment for another three year term.
“I am confident that the team will guide the Authority in the projects implementation to ensure that more Kenyans have access to communication services,” Information and Technology Cabinet Secreatry Joe Mr Mucheru said.
Catherine Ngahu is the USAC chairperson, while other members are Josephine Chepkurui, Masaviru Awinja, Nixon Mageka,Godo Pakia and Michael Itote.