Kenya to license more signal distributors
The Kenyan Government has cleared he way for two more competitors to join the broadcast signal distribution business, in efforts to ensure the country completes its digital migration head of the 2012 deadline, writes Dennis Itumbi for jocoza.
The ministry of Information announced that six companies, among them a partnership between two leading private media houses, had been shortlisted to compete for two licences to compete in signal distribution.
A joint bid by Nation Media and Royal Media Services, as well as Pan African Network Group, Africa Link Agencies, Signal Distributors Ltd, Mayfox Ltd and Globecast Africa, were shortlisted.
The ministry of information, through the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), will name the two winners of the licences next month, setting the stage for rolling out of the ambitious switch from analogue to digital signals.
The process has been delayed by mistrust between the government and media stakeholders. According to the plan announced by the ministry, the firms will be expected to submit their bids by May 25, their bids will then be evaluated the next day.
The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) had previously won the tender to distribute the signals through a subsidiary Signet, but will now have to put up with competition.
Information Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo says the decision to license more firms was made because financial problems facing KBC were slowing the process.
“It is for this reason that the Digital Transition Committee recommended that the Ministry consider a policy review to allow competition in the broadcast signal distribution market through the licensing of additional broadcast signal distributors,” said Dr Ndemo. "Now we are assured of a faster transition from analogue to digital,"
Kenya has set the deadline for digital migration at 2012, ahead of the global deadline of 2015.
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