The government’s plan to switch off Nairobi’s analog TV signals for digital broadcasting on December 13 has beenpostponed to December 23rd. The High Court has suspended the planned switch (to digital) to allow determination of a suit filed by media houses challenging the Government plan.
A digital set top box to cost about Ksh. 5,000
The planned migration was to start with Nairobi by December 13, 2013, followed by major towns (Mombasa, Malindi, Nyeri, Meru, Kisumu, Webuye, Kisii, Nakuru and Eldoret) on March 30 next year, and finally the rest of the country by June 2014.
Digital migration will ensure that the country complies with the worldwide analogue switch off deadline of 17th June 2015.
Summary of the case
- Basically, Nation Media Group, The Standard Group and Citizen TV (the petitioners) are not opposed to the digital migration. They are only opposed to the manner in which it is occuring
- The 3 media houses had also applied for licenses to distribute digital signals, but had been denied under ‘unclear’ circumstances. If the switch off happens as planned, then they have to give their content to the licensed distributors (Signet and Pan Africa Group (PANG)) in order for viewers to continue receiving their signals. They will suffer major losses as a result.
- Another petitioner in the case is the Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) who think that the timing is unfair. I would say by 2015 we have to switch anyway, so the earlier we do it, the better. The initial deadline had been 2012 actually, it was postponed to 2013, and here we are now. If you can switch now, just do it to start enjoying the benefits of digital TV which include better signal and sound quality, and richer content. You don’t have to wait until 2015.
- The ruling on the case will take place on December 23rd so will update you guys.