Kenya - CA to inspect transmission sites of broadcasters

Technology & Convergence

The Communications Authority of Kenya has embarked on countrywide inspection of analogue transmission sites of broadcasters to ensure compliance after lapse of the deadline of final phase of digital migration.

It is still not clear whether the entire country is now on digital broadcast signals following the end of the final phase of migration last week according to the switchover timetable issued by the government in December.

As per the schedule, Nairobi and its environs migrated on December 31 during the first phase of the digital migration while the deadline for second phase which covered Mombasa, Malindi, Nyeri, Meru, Kisumu, Webuye, Kakamega, Kisoo, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nyahururu (Nyadundo), Machakos, Narok and Loldiani was on February 2.

In the third and final phase, areas such as Garissa, Kitui, Lodwar, Lokichogio, Kapenguria, Kabarnet, Migori, Voi (Vuria) Mwinzau, Kibwezi, Namanga and all other remaining sites were supposed to migrate by midnight March 30.

"An inspection team from the Authority will go round the sites to determine the status. The sites are remote and this exercise will take some time to  complete," CA told the Star.

In the first phase of the migration process, CA had to forcefully shut down analogue transmission sites of three media houses, a move that affected broadcasts of four television stations. The four were KTN, NTV, Citizen and QTV.

The global deadline for digital migration is June 17 and was set by the International Telecommunications Union.

Digital migration in Kenya has faced a lot of resistance from the three media houses - Royal Media Services, Nation and Standard Group - which have been lobbying for an extension to comply with the switch. The three intend to import their own set top boxes to convert analogue signals to digital for their viewers.

"The authority will release a status report in the coming weeks," CA said.
Source: The Star 7 April 2015