Digital Migration process in Uganda takes a U-turn

digital migration U turn

About four months to the June 30 deadline, officials have admitted that the company mandated to distribute digital signals in the country is not yet ready. A sign clearly showing that some aspects of the digital migration process are not on course as was earlier reported. Officials of Signet a company affiliated to Uganda Broadcasting Association appeared before the parliamentary committee on ICT to explain their preparedness.

It emerged that Signet doesn’t have an operating license, and the company was only registered as a company of UBC on the 10th of February 2015. The committee needed a solid foundation for digital migration to happen in the country. Signet officials led by UBC board chairman apologized for telling the legislators at an early meeting that they had the license.

Godfrey-Mutabazi
UCC ED Godfrey Mutabaazi

The Executive director of the Uganda Communications Commission UCC, Mr Godfrey Mutabazi who is also over seeing the digital migration process said Signet does not have the capacity to go in it alone. Citing that it is a very complicated business yet it’s not profitable.

“Signet has no internet domain”

The law makers also expressed fear that, Signet does not does not have a domain name on the internet which could create legal problems for Uganda in the future. If the Signet in Uganda begins running business then, the country will be faced with a legal challenge of another US based company called Signet due to confusion.

Members of the Uganda National Association of Broadcasting have also interfaced with the ICT committee and raised queries on Uganda’s digital migration path. They pointed out the SIM card registration process that was done in 2012 which barely has any success story, they also expressed concern on the initial investment of UGX 60,000 which is not affordable to the ordinary Ugandan.

Fives days ago, Kenya switched off 4 leading broadcasting stations;  NTV Kenya, QTV, Citizen TV and KTN following a protracted disagreement on when migrate from analogue to the crisp clear digital signal.

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  • And why am I not surprised? UCC has shown gross incompetence in managing Digital migration and SIM card registration both of which have far reaching implications on the public, I wish there was a way we would hold them accountable