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Communication commission up to task as it devolves services

01 December 2014, 22:57 Mbungu Harrison

Mombasa - Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) has set up regional offices to transform the lives of Kenyans through Information, Communications and Technology (ICTs) by ensuring availability of services in all parts of the country.

The commission has devolved among other services frequency services and will regulate media content within coastal region and may be forced to cancel licencees of stations which broadcast inciting content.

“We have a committee called broadcast content committee that will monitor the content broadcasted, we will deal with them accordingly, and we may be forced to cancel their licenses,” said CAK chairman in Mombasa after he launched a regional office.

In cases where some media companies fix huge transmitters without filters that filter excessive interference and that interrupt other frequencies the commission will be entitled to prosecute who defy the communications directive.

“We will carry out type approve to all transmitters installed and when we find that they have defied the commissions order or lack type approval we will end up prosecuting the owners,” added Githuku.

CAK chairman Ngene Gituku says the authority is keen to see the industry grow and generate more benefits to businesses, government and all citizens.

 “You will be pleased to note that this decision is well aligned to the aspirations of our 2010 Constitution, aiming at bringing services closer to the people” said Gituku.

He announced that since the liberalization in 1999,the authority have licensed 13 international gateway operators,28 network facility operators,111 application service providers, over 168 content and service provider,1000 telecommunications contractors and equipment vendors, more than 160 postal and courier operators,120 FM radio stations and about 60 TV stations.

He said CAK has announced the date for digital migration and urged stakeholders in the broadcasting industry and consumers at large, to move with speed and migrate to the digital platform.

“Successful digital migration is one of the key factors in catapulting this country into high speed broadband service provision. We don’t have any more time left to debate this issue. We have to move and move quickly in line with the deadlines” he said.

In the first phase to be switched off on 31st December 2014 covering Nairobi and its environs including Kiambi, Kajiado, Murang’a, Athi River,Kitengela.

 In the second phase to be switched off on 2nd February 2015 and shall cover Mombasa, Malindi, Nyeri, Meru, Kisumu, Webuye, Kakamega, Kisii, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nyahururu (Nyadundo), Machakos, Narok and Loldiani (Rongai) while phase three to be swiched off on 30th March 2015 and shall cover Garissa, Kitui, Lodwar, Lokichogio, Kapenguria, Kabarnet, Migori, Voi (Vuria), Mbwinzau/Kibwezi, Namanga and all other remaining sites.

 KBC Managing Director Waithaka Waihenya said they are ready for the switch off of the analogue frequencies to the digital transmission.

He said the digital transmission infrastructure has been in place since 2009 but the move has been bogged down by court cases from interested parties who are not licensed frequency distributors.

 He attributed the slow uptake of top-set-boxes to lack of incentives to buy the gadgets as people were still getting signals from analogue televisions.

 CAK Director of Consumer and Public Affairs Mutua Muthusi said the new regional office will serve Mombasa,Kwale,Kilifi,Taita-Taveta,Lamu and Tana River counties.

- MyNews24

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