KENYA'S VOIP POLICY READY IN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS

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The VoIP service sector will get a new policy framework in two weeks time, it was announced last Monday. John Waweru, the Director General of the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK), said the Government was committed to pushing through reforms in the Information, Communication and Telecommunication (ICT) sector."There are no roadblocks in legalizing VoIP. However, caution is necessary," Waweru said.

He was speaking at a workshop on wireless and satellite technologies policies and regulations in Nairobi. He said policy guidelines for the sub-sector will be released in the next two weeks and the licences issued later.Waweru said only 49 countries had adopted the technology worldwide, a sign that some level of precaution is needed.

Waweru said the new policy framework would offer concessions to companies intending to invest in rural areas.The aim, he said, is to open up marginalised areas and foster balanced development in all corners of the country.Industry players have questioned government's commitment to liberalisation of the ICT sector.

"Backbone operators (IBGOs) are like wholesalers in this process, ISPsare like retailers who should sell the service to end users," saidJoseph Mucheru, the Chairman of Telecommunication Service Providers ofKenya. He accused the regulator of stifling the industry's growth throughfrequently changing the goal posts.

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