Nairobi’s digital TV migration deadline set for September 2013

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) and the Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) have finally agreed on September 15 as the analogue television broadcasting cut-off date for the capital Nairobi.

According to both COFEK and the CCK, this is expected to allow Kenyans and Nairobi residents more time to invest in set-top boxes, which will come at a cheaper price as they also agreed on ways to ensure prices come down further.

In the agreement, the number of set-top box vendors will be increased from the current 22 to an unlimited number to increase competition in the sector.

“Mechanisms to lower the cost of set-top boxes should be explored further in order that the price comes down significantly,” COFEK said in a statement.

The CCK will also be charged with engaging the consumers on the advantages of digital television migration to ensure they understand the need, as neighbouring Tanzania did for its own migration on December 31, 2012.

“CCK to come up with a strategy to ensure a cost-effective consumer information, education and communication on all matters related to digital migration. Consumer representation be sought on the Ministerial Digital Television Committee,” COFEK said.

The agreement comes days after Ministry of Information and Communication permanent secretary Dr Bitange Ndemo requested the court to make a ruling after fruitless dialogue between the CCK and COFEK.

“We are aware (through media reports) that a representative of the Minister for Information and Communications (Dr Bitange Ndemo) had ruled out any dialogue with COFEK preferring what he called “stakeholders” instead,” COFEK had earlier accused Ndemo.

The development officially ends the stalemate that had stalled the migration process, which COFEK blocked through the High Court, citing unpreparedness on the part of Kenyans to switchover to digital TV.

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