KICA Amendments: Universal Service Fund use and reporting

This is a continuation of the discusion on the proposed amendment of KICA.

The new amendments to KICA proposed by Hon. Elisha Odhiambo, MP, published
on March 15th, 2019, seeks to substitute sub-section (2) of section 84J
that deals with Universal Service Fund (USF), with Communications Authority
(CA) mandated to provide annual reports to parliament on the utilisation of
the USF.

(2) The object and purpose of the Fund shall be to
a) promote the availability of quality of service at just, reasonable and
affordable rates for all consumers;
b) increase nationwide access to advanced telecommunications services;
c) advance the availability of such services to all consumers, including
those in low income, and rural areas;
d) increase access to telecommunications and advanced services in schools,
libraries and rural health care facilities;
e) provide equitable and non-discriminatory contribution from all providers
of telecommunications services to the fund supporting universal service
programs; and
f) support capacity building and promote innovation in information and
communications technology services.

(5) The USF shall be utilised by the Commission as follows
a) 6% shall be used for ensuring the availability of telecommunications
services to all consumers, including those in low income and rural areas;
b) 20% shall be used for increasing access to telecommunications and
advanced services in schools, libraries, and rural health care facilities.
c)10% shall be used for furthering the other objectives of the Fund as the
Commission may determine.

The rationale of the bill is to prescribe how the USF is used and make it
mandatory for CA to report annually on its usage.

What are your thoughts on this new amendment? Does it cover all use-cases
for USF e.g courier and news services? Are there other considerations you
would want to be included in the bill?

Warm Regards

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