The development comes a month after COFEK agreed to withdraw a case from the high court challenging the analogue switch.
The parties had agreed to cooperate in the process to realise a smooth transition but COFEK insists the the Ministry of Information Communication and Technology has not honoured its pledge to initiate dialogue among all stakeholders over challenges facing the digital migration process.
While speaking to journalists on Monday, COFEK’s secretary general Stephen Mutoro said the government, which had promised to form a nine-member committee to be chaired by COFEK, has not been sincere in their engagement and they had done their level best to cushion Kenyans.
“While Cofek met all its expectations, the government side did not honour even a single expectation. Instead of following the formation of the Digital Migration Stakeholder Forum which was to be the chaired by COFEK, the ministry instead decided to appoint COFEK as a member of the Digital Television Committee,” Mutoro said.
With the government planning to kick off the analogue switch off in Nairobi in October 31 2013, Mutoro cited the high cost of the digital set-top boxes which according to some are beyond the reach of the average consumer.
“This migration should not [be] left for only a few but for every Kenyan. Our big issue is the prices of these set-top boxes which we want their cost to drop to around KSh1,000 (US$11.50) from the current KSh5,000 (US$57.30). In fact when some of the distributors heard that we had withdrawn our case against CCK, they have increased the prices to KSh7,000 (US$80.28),” Mutoro said.
Though COFEK has said it will not go back to court to oppose the migration, the new disagreements could lead to further delays in the transition with less than two years left to the global deadline of June 2015.
“We will not move back to Court to challenge the analogue switch-off. Our options will, however, remain open as regards all lawful means to ensure the set-top boxes will not only be affordable, but of good quality and that the digital frequency signals will be stable and accessible within all areas designated for analogue switch-off,” Mutoro added.
In December last year the High Court in Kenya had extended the December 31 switch-off of analogue broadcasting in Nairobi, saying the process should be kept on hold until a case brought by COFEK is heard.