International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Research

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International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Research


Evaluating Factors Affecting Broadband Readiness in Kenya: A Pilot Study

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Author(s) Gilbert Barasa Mugeni, Gregory Wabuke Wanyembi,Joseph Muliaro Wafula
On Pages 491-498
Volume No. 2
Issue No. 6
Issue Date June, 2012
Publishing Date June, 2012
Keywords Kenya, Developing countries, Broadband, Readiness, Pilot study



Abstract

The term “broadband” generally describes a wide range of new Information Technologies that allow high speed high bandwidth data transmission and always-on access to the internet and other real-time services. The World Bank, in a 2010 report entitled “Building broadband: Strategies and policies for the developing world”, asserts that for every 10 percentage-point increase in broadband penetration in developing countries, GDP growth can increase by up to 1.38 percent and that this potential growth surpasses that of telephony, mobile phones or narrowband Internet. The actual speed and bandwidth that constitute “broadband internet” is still a subject of international debate and countries have chosen to adopt different definitions for broadband speed. In Kenya, for instance, internet speeds of at least 256 Kb/s in either direction constitute broadband. The World Bank, in the above mentioned report, proposes that broadband be defined beyond the traditional notion of a specific type of network connectivity or minimum transmission speed. Rather, it proposes that broadband be viewed as an ecosystem that includes its networks, the services that the networks carry, the applications they deliver, and users. It is in this context that this study aims to provide an initial understanding of the factors affecting broadband readiness in a developing country, in this instance Kenya. In order to achieve this aim, this study1 identified and examined various policy, regulatory, access technology, digital literacy, broadband demand and broadband supply side factors and their possible influence upon broadband readiness in Kenya. The data on these variables was collected using an on-line administered questionnaire approach. The findings of this study suggest that availability of a national broadband strategy, improvement in digital literacy, use of private public partnerships in the provision of broadband, provision of broadband connections to government, learning and health institutions, inclusion of broadband in universal service obligations, and improvement in the security of broadband connections are significant factors for improving broadband readiness of Kenya.

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