The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPTC) yesterday said telecommunications companies contributed $9 million to the Universal Service Obligation (USO) fund established for the Telecommunications and ICT sector last year.
The government used the fund to strengthen communication connectivity with the construction of 41 new stations throughout the country, said a report from the MPTC.
In 2017, the government approved funds for the building of 41 new stations and the upgrading and re-configuration of 90 existing ones. All the stations are for 3G and 4G coverage.
The report said the construction of seven new stations was completed in November, 19 are under construction and will be completed by February 2019, and the 15 others faced flood issues that slowed their progress.
The delays at the construction sites are expected to be resolved soon given the project deadline is April 2019.
Among the existing stations, work on 83 was completed in November and the seven others are expected to be completed by January 2019.
Kan Channmeta, Secretary of State at MPTC, said during a press conference on Wednesday that 87 percent of telcos, or 27 of 31 companies, fulfilled their obligations to the fund.
“We use the funds to improve connectivity, but there are still challenges. The funds are also used to bridge the digital gap and to boost the use of technology.”
Mr Channmeta called on the remaining telcos to fulfill their obligations to the fund.