The High Court in Kenya has suspended the analogue TV broadcasting switch-off until after the March 2013 general elections.
The court asked the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) and the Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek), a consumer advocacy group, to agree on a suitable date after the elections.
Cofek has registered its first win against the CCK, managing to delay the digital migration after it protested that the exercise would disrupt public education and sensitisation.
The High Court’s ruling comes less than a week after the government announced that it would be talking to Cofek to seek an out-of-court settlement.
Currently, less than 10 percent of TV-owners have acquired the digital TV set-top boxes needed to watch digital television. A concern raised by a number of consumers is that many Kenyans will be locked out of accessing information on the polls. Presently, all digital platforms require monthly subscription, with GoTV, which broadcasts the SIGNET platform by the government, retailing the highest at just under KSh5,000 (approx. $58).
Critics observe that the high cost of the set-top boxes will lock out millions of Kenyans in a country where 50 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.