Telcos through their association the Telecommunications Service Providers of Kenya (TESPOK) want more transparency for the Universal Service fund and have now asked the Communications Authority to set up an audit and update them on its status.
Collectively, the companies have contributed Ksh. 3.4 billion which is in excess of the CA’s target of sh. 2.5 billion.
Apart from the audit, the operators also want to be included in the management of the fund and have also put forward that the last access gap study was outdated and should not be used I determining the areas needing ICT.
The daily Nation now reports that the regulator has since not put the money for the intended use and that some contentious issues had not been addressed.
“We have not yet been updated on the issue of having private auditors for this fund including the status of a new access gap study,” Tespok Chief Executive Officer Fiona Asonga said in a statement.
“We urge the CA to adequately address the pending issues as were earlier raised, before they start administering this fund.”
The USF fund is meant to help underserved areas in matters of ICT catch up with the rest of the country and last year it was a topic of discussion as many companies had yet to remit their funds.
However, now Safaricom, Airtel, Nation Media Group and Posta, among other operators remitted 0.5 per cent of their gross revenue to the fund.
Last year, all stakeholders including Telcos, USF and the CA met and decided to research on the to know the most deserving areas for this money.
Telcos, USF board and CA held several meetings last year and agreed that a study would be conducted to ascertain how and where to first apply the funds.
“We have established a governance and operational framework, which we will share soon. It focuses on key aspects and principles that guide the authority in its mandate over USF and its relationship with the Universal Service Advisory Council members,” said CA in a statement.