Digital switch leaves 1.3 mln Kenyans without TV

Technology & Convergence

More than 1.3 million Kenyans are unable to watch television because of digital migration, out of a total of 3.5 million households estimated to own TV sets. The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) said that only 2.2 million have acquired set-top boxes to access digital TV, Business Daily reported. CA Director-General Francis Wangusi told the newspaper that poor distribution of set-top boxes was to blame for the television blackout. He added that remote areas are the most affected,  though the government is working on ways of penetrating the region.

That announcement contradicts the authority's position that Kenya was ready to migrate with the rest of the world. Media owners have in the recent past argued that there needed to be an extension of the migration period, to allow people more time to acquire set-top boxes. Media owners also maintained that the set-top boxes are not affordable and are scarce in remote areas.

Pay-TV subscribers have to pay monthly fees of between KES 499 and KES 8,200. The prices for multi-channel decoders range between KES 1,999 and KES 2,500, while free-to-air set-top boxes cost between KES 3,300 and KES 6,500. The CA has licensed over 79 types of set-top box and the sector has created over 2,500 jobs, according to ICT ministry statistics.
Source: Daily Nation 18 June 2015