The Communication Authority of Kenya formerly CCK assumed new roles on its transition from a Commission to an Authority. The new title means command, control and power as opposed to being a commission.
With a mission to Facilitate the transformation of lives through progressive regulation of the Information and Communication Technology Sector, The Communication authority also looks to provide easy Access to and use of Information and Communication Services by all in Kenya by 2018. CAK has not only devolved its services but also spread at county level.
The new dispensation gives Communications Authority an expanded mandate that includes setting and enforcing standards for broadcast media, and licensing and enforcing electronic transaction platforms the two key areas will focus on social economic development and enhancement of security which is exactly what the country needs at the moment.
Kachwanya.com earlier highlighted on the body’s detachment from governmental control, politics and also parties of interest as indicated in the constitution. The transition of the body from a commission to an authority will also see new strategic plans layed for the communication sector.
Communication Authority will work in line with four key pillars that will transform the industry;
Pillar 1: Providing an enabling environment for ICT development,
This Pillar is aimed at creating a conducive environment for existing and potential licensees and investors, consumers of ICT services, public, civil society and Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). The pillar will be implemented under eight strategic objectives;
- Promote environmental sustainability.
- Foster research, development and innovation.
- Promote public engagement, awareness and communication.
- Promote consumer and public awareness and empowerment.
- Foster regional and international cooperation in the ict sector.
- Nurture strategic partnerships.
- Facilitate the development of a conducive policy, regulatory frameworks
- Support implementation of the National Broadband Strategy.
Pillar 2: Institutional capacity;
This Pillar is aimed at enhancing and modernizing CA’s internal systems, processes and capacities to deliver on the strategy and ensure efficient service delivery; and ensure optimal utilization of the financial, human and physical resources. The Pillar will be implemented through the following four strategic objectives:
- Re-engineer human capacity to deliver the strategy.
- Ensure efficient utilization of institutional resources.
- Modernize internal systems and processes.
- Promote corporate and environmental social responsibilities.
Pillar 3: Infrastructure and Service Development
This Pillar is aimed at ensuring development and deployment of efficient, reliable, secure and quality ICT infrastructure and services that are accessible; and ensure optimal management of the frequency spectrum, numbering and addressing resources. The Pillar is also consistent with CA’s mandate of ensuring operators’ compliance with the KICA and, the development and formulation of adequate standards for the ICT sector. This Pillar is built on the following three strategic objectives:
- Facilitate widespread infrastructure and services deployment.
- Facilitate secure ICT systems and services.
- Ensure quality ICT systems and services.
Pillar 4: Market Development
Communication Authority is mandated by the law to foster growth, competition and investment in the ICT sector; promote ICT systems and services in accordance with recognized international standards, practices and public demands; and contribute to overall Government objectives towards human, social and economic development through facilitating universal access and use of ICT services. In order to achieve these mandates, this Pillar will be realized through implementation of the following three strategic objectives.
- Facilitate competition.
- Develop mechanisms for addressing disadvantaged groups.
- Facilitate investment in the ICT sector.
The regulatory body is also looking on adding data among its key performance indicators. The new powers in the Kenya Information and communications Act (amendment) gazetted on January 10, 2014 include SIM registration regulation which will see details of the SIM owner captured, verification process, registration of minors, record keeping of registration details, confidentiality, proxies in registration process, liability of use, access of site records among others.
Mobile telephone operators who do not adhere to SIM registrations will, for instance, be charged a fee not exceeding 0.5 per cent of their annual revenue. Individuals who fail to adhere are also punishable by law.
Communication’s Authority’s responsibility structure still remains the same only carried out more seriously and at a different level now. They include;
- Licensing all systems and services in the communications industry, including; telecommunications, postal, courier and broadcasting.
- Managing the country’s frequency spectrum and numbering resources.
- Facilitating the development of e-commerce.
- Type approving and accepting communications equipment meant for use in the country.
- Protecting consumer rights within the communications environment.
- Managing competition within the sector to ensure a level playing ground for all players.
- Regulating retail and wholesale tariffs for communications services.
- Managing the universal access fund to facilitate access to communications services by all in Kenya.
- Monitoring the activities of licensees to enforce compliance with the license terms and conditions as well as the law.
Communication Authority has stated increasing broadband penetration, Internet uptake to 70 per cent and electronic commerce support in postal and courier service, increasing contribution to overall GDP by 5 per cent and mobile telephone penetration to 90 per cent through ICT among major goals in the next five years.