Communication Authority concerned on ICT infrastructure vandalism

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) has expressed concern over the recent destruction of information communication technology infrastructure in some parts of the country.

The Director General (DG), Francis Wangusi said the massive destruction witnessed in Mandera, Garissa and Lamu Counties as a result of terrorism and Kisumu County occasioned by the aftermath of the elections threatens to erode the massive investments and other gains that have been made in the sector.

The dangerous trend has affected network and services thereby putting the lives of Kenyans at risk since telecommunications services provide emergency response and other basic critical needs, said Wangusi.

He said it is disheartening to see telecommunication infrastructure being vandalised when industry players have invested billions of shillings to close the existing communication gaps in the country, saying the government will not allow the trend to continue.

Wangusi said a study carried out by the Authority in 2016 on ICT Access Gaps had shown that over Sh. 70 billion is required to close the existing ICT gaps in the country.

He noted that the recent vandalism of ICT infrastructure is retrogressing the efforts made to ensure that all Kenyans access the services.

Vandalism of the infrastructure by criminals and terrorists has negative effects on critical services banks, emergency, health and national security services, as well local businesses, added Wangusi.

He said the destruction of the infrastructure on the notion that it belonged to a particular operator is misleading, saying that most of the Base Transmitter Stations deployed in the country accommodate a multiplicity of players through infrastructure sharing and colocation arrangements.

The DG said the government has already initiated a bill seeking to designate telecommunications infrastructure as critical infrastructure, a move he said will ensure that all the infrastructures in the country are protected as national asset.

Source: Kenya News Agency