THE Universal Communication Service Access Fund (UCSAF) is holding a discussion with the public broadcaster-Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) and Radio Free Africa (RFA) on how to improve FM broadcasting among the most economically disadvantaged areas in the country.
UCSAF Chief Executive Officer Ms Justina Mashimba said that they are in discussions with TBC to improve radio quality in remote areas, especially villages of Kagera, Kyela, Ruvuma, Njombe, Ludewa and Katavi bordering neighbouring countries.
“We are also partnering with RFA to enhance broadcasting in Mlele, Gairo, Kondo a and Tanganyika districts,” she said.
However, Ms Mashimba acknowledged that while they had advanced access to modern means of communication especially telephone signals, radio quality still remains poor in some locations.
The officer was optimistic that improving communication services in such remote and urban areas could help boost development and democracy-a fundamental principle behind the establishment of the Fund.
UCSAF was established in 2009 to ensure access to affordable communication services to remote and urban areas.
At its establishment, 80 per cent of Tanzanians were living in rural areas facing communication challenges.
The communication services covered include postal, radio and television signals.
UCSAF has so far released over 150bn/- in support of communication projects, according to Pius Joseph, UCSAF Finance and Administration Manager.
He said the fund has embarked on releasing subsidy to help radio stations get threephase electricity to power their transmission towers.
But stakeholders had a different view saying the existence of multiple hills across the country was limiting radio penetrations.
They suggested the Fund engage with telecom operators to help local radios use their telecom towers to improve radio signals in urban areas.
On other development, Eng Idd Mlua UCSAF Acting Operational Manager explained that more than 700 wards have so far been reached.
He announced that the Fund is further considering connecting the Benjamin Mkapa Ultra-Modern Hospital in Dodoma and Mnazi Momoja Hospital in Unguja with telemedicine services.
The process is set for 2020/21 financial year and will include the construction of 10 more ICT centres in Mainland Tanzania.