A court of Appeal in Kenya has ruled that the digital migration be postponed till September 30, giving an 8-month extension from now. This extension has been on going in several courts from last year in October, to December 2013, then to various days in March 2014 until the current deadline of September 30. So those who are yet to purchase TV Set Top Boxes have been given a reprieve.
While making the ruling in the case pitting the government through Ministry of ICT and Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) and three broadcasters (Nation Media Group, Standard Media Group and Royal Media Services), the court revoked the signal distribution awarded to China’s (Pan African Network Group) and ordered a fresh tender process.
The three judge panel ordered that the three media houses in the suit be issued with a signal distribution license, as the CAK was not properly constituted when it issued the license to PANG. According to the ruling from the judges:
“The digital migration date is still far ahead as per the set international deadline of June 2015 and it is our view that an additional six months will be adequate for all stake holders to agree on an independent body to issue the digital licenses,”
Analog transmission will no be switched off
This ruling means that the government will not switch off analogue signals till the new date of September 30. This 8 month period will be used by the government to create more awareness about the migration exercise and increase uptake of Set Top Boxes including sensitizing the masses.
Ipsos Synovate carried out a survey in the first week of March 2014 in Nairobi that discovered that only 32% of Nairobi residents with TV sets have purchased Set Top Boxes.While that is happening in Kenya, UCC Uganda’s broadcasting regulator claims that we are still on course with the digital migration come 2015.