CA regulating ICT sector in response to pandemic

Written By: Christine Muchira/Obrien Kimani
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Communications Authority of Kenya is in talks with telecom operators to lower the cost of various services in the face of  the Coronavirus pandemic.

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Acting Director General Mercy Wanjau says the reduction will affect the cost of airtime, money transfer data, courier as well as mailing services.

So far the telecoms have abolished charges on mobile transactions below 1000 shillings.

Wanjau says the service providers are waiting for parliament to pass the tax amendment bill that seeks to lower value added tax from 16 to 14 percent.

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The bill has been drafted by the national treasury.

The communications authority has also said it is working with licensees to improve and maintain the quality of service.

¨Quality of service is one of our highest commitment to our consumers. Even in extraordinary times commitments for quality of service and to diverse affordable service remain.¨ Said CA A.g Director General Mercy Wanjau.

The regulator has changed the quality of service report time from three months to one week in an attempt to improve service delivery.

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The CA Director General thanked licensees for putting service ahead of profits noting that they are trying their best to offer quality service at an affordable rate to consumers.

She noted that they have designated EDU TV @edutvkenya as must-carry channel by all Broadcast Signal Distributors (BSDs) to facilitate home based learning being provided the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).

Broadcasters have been encouraged to allocate more airtime to educational material.

The DG however warned that this season is ripe for making children and adults vulnerable because a lot of transaction are being done online urging that Kenyans need to trust and verify the sites they are visiting and be cautious about situations of identity theft.

She said Communication Authority has a flagship initiative on child online protection called COP that guides parents, teachers on ensuring a child engages on online platforms in a responsible manner and is able to pick up signs of danger, intimidation and report it in good time.

Despite Coronavirus pandemic disruptions she assured that CA still has a public service obligation to ensure that consumers get to enjoy quality service and universal service concept carries on.

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