The Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) has today morning launched the National Broadband Strategy (NBS). The strategy provides a roadmap to transform Kenya into a knowledge-based society driven by reliable high-capacity nationwide broadband network
The NBS is a product of intensive stakeholder consultations involving key actors within the thematic areas of the broadband ecosystem including Infrastructure, Connectivity and Devices, Content Applications and Innovations, Capacity Building and Awareness, Policy, Legal and Regulatory, Finance and Investment.
NBS is critical to the achievement of Vision 2030 that seeks to provide Kenyan citizens with a lifestyle that is equivalent to the experience that a newly industrialized country provides. Kenya’s Vision 2030 recognizes the enabling role of ICTs and anchors some of its key aspirations upon the availability and adoption of broadband technologies.
The overall objective of this Strategy is to provide quality broadband services to all citizens. The broadband definition for Kenya for the period 2013 – 2017 is as follows: Connectivity that is always-on and that delivers a minimum of 5mbps to individuals, homes and businesses for high speed access to voice, data, video and applications for development.
Access to broadband for the Kenyan citizens has the potential to generate enormous social economic benefits. Some of the benefits that accrue from national access to broadband include economic growth, job creation, investment opportunities, access to e- government services, improved education and training services, improved national safety and security services among others.
NBS capitalizes on Kenya’s strengths and improves on identified weaknesses to exploit opportunities and mitigate against challenges that we face in respect to national broadband development and uptake.
It details a clear strategy for achieving our goals with the means to monitor and evaluate our progress. The role of the government in this Strategy will initially focus on the supply-side promotion of broadband as well as provide an enabling environment to allow optimum market growth of broadband services by leveraging private sector investment in critical infrastructure.
In the later stages, the Government will focus on universalisation and ensuring that broadband is both accessible and widely used. It is expected that public and private sector investment and competition will expand the broadband market.
The Strategy provides for the promotion of Public and Private Partnerships so that industry stakeholders and the national and county governments work together to deploy infrastructure, invest and build awareness and capacity for use of broadband.
This strategy fulfils the requirements of our new Constitution of Kenya 2010 that provides for information access to all citizens as a basic right and the recognition that Kenya aspires to be a globally competitive and prosperous nation.
The launch was graced by the Chief Guest Ms Ann Waiguru the cabinet secretary Ministry of Planning and Devolution who was representing the Deputy President Hon. William Ruto, The cabinet secretary Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology Dr. Fred Matiangi, The US Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec, Communications Communication of Kenya (CCK) Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi, Director-General of Kenya Vision’s 2030 Delivery Board Mr. Mugo Kibati, Industry players, among other dignitaries.