Program Goal / Need:
Integra LLC is the prime contractor for USAID’s Global Broadband and Innovations (GBI) Program, which is designed to expand access to affordable telecommunications to underserved and unserved areas worldwide. Under GBI, Integra works with both the public and private sectors to develop or improve telecommunications universal service funds (USFs) across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Areas of expertise include legal and regulatory advisory services, strategic management planning, national broadband planning, organizational development, monitoring and evaluation systems, and the development of effective public-private partnerships, among others.
In March 2012, the Government of Kenya and USAID signed a formal Memo of Understanding, formalizing technical assistance objectives to:
- Analyze and provide recommendations on ICT Gap Analysis previously conducted for the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK)
- Support the development of a National Broadband Strategy (NBS), including assistance with a public Forum on this strategy
- Assist with implementation of Kenya’s Universal Service Fund
Integra consultants worked closely with CCK senior staff to prepare a national broadband plan with “whole of government”, industry, and civil society participation. Work was completed with the public launch of the NBS on July 23, 2013. Integra’s work in support of the start-up of Kenya’s universal service fund (USF) included identifying key issues to allow for better targeting of fund investments, investment project planning, and project monitoring and evaluation. Integra is also assisting with industry consultations and developed working documents on the Fund’s operational framework, governance structure, and pilot project plans leading to the fund’s first investment.
Under the NBS, the Government of Kenya has formally committed to target 5% of its annual budget, approximately $1.1 billion, toward implementation of broadband ICT programs through 2017. The strategy will leverage another $1.7 billion in private capital through innovative financing mechanisms and public-private partnerships. Currently, Integra and CCK are collaborating closely on the core management and operational frameworks for the USF, training of fund managers, and planning initial pilot projects that will expand broadband access to rural areas. These projects will utilize approximately $12 million in seed funding that is already allocated and available to the Fund.