Civil society comments on Kenya's "Draft Dynamic Spectrum Access Framework for Authorisation of the Use of TV White Spaces"

Image by  Gerd Altmann used under Pixabay License (https://pixabay.com/illustrations/network-earth-block-chain-globe-3537401/) Image by Gerd Altmann used under Pixabay License (https://pixabay.com/illustrations/network-earth-block-chain-globe-3537401/)

 

Publication date: 
April 2020
Author: 
Various
Comments in Response to the Public Consultation on the Draft Dynamic Spectrum Access Framework for Authorisation of the Use of TV White Spaces

Submission Date: 17th April 2020

Introduction

On the 3rd March 2020, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) invited all stakeholders to submit their comments with respect to the Draft Dynamic Spectrum Access Framework for Authorisation of the Use of TV White Spaces. The following organisations are herewith submitting their comments with the common objective to help create a quality and affordable telecommunications service to all Kenyans, especially those in rural and underserved areas :

  • Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet)

  • Tunapanda

  • Association for Progressive Communications

  • Internet Society ​

  • Rhizomatica

Context

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is a key enabler in achieving Kenya’s vision 2030, which aims to transform the country into a globally competitive, middle-income, knowledge-based economy. Last year the government launched the “Big Four” agenda, which has four priority areas drawn from vision 2030. These are food security, affordable housing, universal healthcare and manufacturing.

In the last decade, Kenya has experienced growth in the ICT sector, with the government investing in critical infrastructure such as fiber optic cables, which connect Kenya to international fiber networks. In addition, the government also connected each county to the national fiber optic backbone. Even with the progress, 48% of Kenyans, especially those living in rural areas, still remain unconnected to mobile networks. Fixed-line and wired networks are beyond reach for most Kenyans; this is indicated in the latest released statistics for the last quarter of 2019 in which the total broadband subscriptions from all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) combined was less than half a million.

In the absence of affordable and reliable internet connection, Kenya’s rural population, who are mostly youth, will lack the skills and tools that can enable them to contribute and participate in the knowledge-based economy, thus impacting negatively the achievement of the country’s vision 2030. During these tough times of the global COVID-19 pandemic has reemphasised the importance of connecting every household in Kenya to ensure access to essential government services, digital healthcare and education.

We welcome this opportunity to contribute to the work of the CA in such an important process.

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