Moderated discussion on Licensing and Shared Spectrum Framework for Community Networks for Kenya

Dear Listers,

KICTANet will hold a moderated discussion led on 27th and 28th May on the
licensing and shared spectrum framework for community networks.

Together with our partners, we formulated a Licensing and Shared Spectrum
Framework for Community Networks for Kenya. The Communications Authority of
Kenya has invited comments from all stakeholders, including members of the
public, licensees utilizing spectrum resources, and government institutions
on the proposed framework available on the Authority’s website direct
download here.

Community Networks are a way to bridge the connectivity gap when people
come together to build and maintain the necessary infrastructure for
Internet connection. Internet by the people, for the people.

This licensing framework by CA will create a mechanism to attract existing
community networks that have been operating outside the regulatory tent
into the overall regulatory framework

The framework proposes to integrate a new licensing category for community
networks within the Unified Licensing Framework. The license will be
exclusively for community-based organizations or other forms of non-profit
collectives, limited to a sub-county. The community will be issued a
ten-year license with the application fee and the annual operating fee set
at Ksh. 1000 and Ksh. 5000 respectively. This is quite affordable compared
to the lowest fee in the Network Facilities Provider Tier3 commercial
license which pays an initial license fee of KShs. 200,000 and an operating
fee of KShs. 160,000.

The framework allows community networks to access the Universal Service
Funds to support bottom-up digital skills help the growth of local
initiatives, and also provide capacity-building initiatives within

While CA will help the communities negotiate discounted backhaul capacity
for community networks, the framework also requires fiber-optic network
operators to publish their pricing to ensure access, transparency, and
non-discrimination in wholesale backhaul markets.

Finally, the licensing frameworks gives recommendation on how license
exempt spectrum (frequencies allocated for communication over the airwaves)
can be utilised more effectively;

To review the Guidelines on the use of Radiofrequency Spectrum by Short
Range Devices to amend EIRP limits for 2.4 & 5 GHz Wi-Fi for Point-to-Point
and Point-to-Multipoint use.

To review options for lowering the barrier to use of other
license-exempt bands for PtP and PtMP use, including 24 GHz and 60 GHz.

To expand the range of frequencies available for license-exempt use,
especially in the 5-6 GHz bands.

To strengthen collaborations with service providers to foster standards
and regulatory inclusion.

To expedite the commercial availability of geolocation database service
and implement required mechanisms to make the TVWS spectrum available
immediately to operators.

To establish an incubatory period for TVWS technologies.

To evaluate with regional regulators the feasibility of a common
approach implementation of geolocation databases.

To develop a shared spectrum framework for underutilised IMT spectrum

To review the spectrum fee framework, recognizing the need for
significantly reduced fees for underserved areas

This consultation process is meant to give stakeholders and the public an
opportunity to comment on the proposed draft framework. The comments
received will inform the adoption of the Licensing and Shared Spectrum
Framework for Community Networks in Kenya.

Any comments or memoranda should be sent to the email address: or the official CA address before the close of
day on 1st June 2021.

KICTANet organized a webinar to introduce stakeholders and the public to
the proposed draft framework. The webinar recording is available on YouTube
here .

Mwendwa Kivuva, Nairobi, Kenya

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