North Eastern and Rift Valley targeted in closing ICT divide

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru

Counties in the north Eastern and Rift Valley regions have been marked as target areas in the government’s plan to bridge the digital divide.

Canadian firm Intelecon Research and Consultancy, contracted by Communications Authority to conduct the study, noted that covering the two areas will largely close remaining gaps ensuring penetration in institutions such as schools.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru

Counties prioritised to benefit from the project in the first phase of implementation of the project which kicks off this year are; Marsabit, Narok, Samburu, Tana River and Turkana, Wajir, West Pokot, Baringo, Garissa, Kajiado, Kilifi, Kitui and Laikipia.

Voice and broadband have been marked as priority areas in the closure of the country’s ICT access gap, according to the final ICT access gap study released Tuesday.

“This will reduce the population coverage gap from 5.6 per cent of the population to around half 2.8 per cent by 2018, combining proposed Universal Service Fund investments with the licence obligations already accepted in 2015 by the two leading operators, Safaricom and Airtel,” says the report.

“Broadband will establish a first step towards addressing the critical national gap which exists in connectivity of schools and tertiary college institutions below university level.”

The study states that only 164 out of a total of 7,149 sub-locations remain totally uncovered, while a further 418 have less than 50 per cent of their populations covered.

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