Technology Service Providers of Kenya (TESPOK) the lobby group representing telecom companies has again expressed its concern over the failure by the Communications Authority to address some of the key issues which they had raised concerning the management of the USF levy even after contributing excess funds to the kitty. Previously, several meetings between operators and the USF board as well as Communication Authority of Kenya which manages the USF were held to discuss the operators’ concerns on how the fund would be managed. Although possible temperal solutions on industry engagement were tabled and discuss those that received consensus from all parties are yet to be implemented.

The Communications Authority has reported that operators have exceeded the 2.5bn target of the USF levy by 900M. As the contributions exceed the 2.5bn target, issues such as stakeholder engagement with the USF board,Access gap study and fund management policy have yet not been resolved.
“Operators have already played their part by contributing to the kitty but the regulator has not done their part as we had previously agreed.As operators,we would like to participate in the management of the fund as is global best practise. We have not yet been updated on the issue of having private auditors for this fund including update on the status of a new Access gap Study.” Said TESPOK Chief Executive Officer,Fiona Asonga. “We urge the CA to adequately address the pending issues as were earlier raised, before they start administering this fund.”added Fiona Asonga.
The USF levy was established by Communications Authority to support universal access of ICT services to all Kenyans and especially those in the underserved and unserved areas. The last access gap study is several years old, during which operators have taken on the initiative of facilitating ICT access to underserved areas.