Effects of Network Infrastructure on Universal Access: A Survey of ICT Access in Kenya
Mercy Mawia Mulwa, Dr. Maurice Sakwa, Prof. G.S. Namusonge

ICTs have been proven to have a positive impact on the society today, especially in the rural areas where they lead to improved productivity. This brings about improved income and quality of life among the rural inhabitants. Due to its importance, governments have thrived towards achieving universal access to ICTs by ensuring that telecommunication services are made available to all citizens in a country, without regard to geographical location, on an affordable basis. Quality network infrastructure at affordable prices is a key requirement in ICT development, adoption and use, since it is an accelerator to access in the rural areas. Therefore, development of the network infrastructure has been the main focus in most countries because of its role in universal access. Despite all this effort, there is still minimal access to ICT services in the rural areas. The study adopted a descriptive research design approach and was conducted among people involved in the implementation of universal access in Kenya. The findings from the study showed that there has been a tremendous increased access to ICTs through the use of mobile phones than through the use of Personal Computers because the results show that there are 80 and above mobile phone users and between 21 and 40 personal computer users in every 100 inhabitants in Kenya. The findings show that poor quality, low connectivity speed and low reliability of ICT infrastructure, low access to roads and high illiteracy levels are the infrastructure challenges affecting the technology adoption and have great contribution on UA to ICT in Kenya. The study recommended that market players, the regulator and policy makers should put in place measures and policies that will govern the services beings provided to the end user. Also the government should invest highly in ensuring that all sections of the country have access to roads so that all the services get to every Kenyan.

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