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Court postpones digital migration hearing

27 November 2013, 17:56

Nairobi - The High Court has postponed to early next month the hearing into the petition filed by three local media organisations challenging the deadline to migrate to digital broadcasting.

Justice Mumbi Ngigi postponed the petition by Royal Media, Standard Group the Nation Media Group to December 6. That is exactly a week before the December 13 deadline government has set for the migration from analogue broadcasting.

The three media organization argued in their petition that the government had not put in place proper infrastructure to ensure a smooth migration and further cited unfair denial for a signal distribution license.

“Denying media houses licenses for digital signal distribution contradicts Article 34 of the Constitution,” argued the organizations in their petition.

The complainants further argued that there were limited Set Top Boxes (STB)in the country to enable the smooth transmission of digital signals a situation that would leave many Kenyans cut out of the vital TV services if the government sticks to the December 13 deadline.

It is reported there are 26 000 STBs in the country, which critics say is not close to half the number required.

It is feared that many Kenyans would not manage to purchase the STB due to their pricing and further meet the monthly subscription fee.

Stakeholders in the media sector have urged the government to subsidize the STB prices to make them affordable to many low income Kenyans.

The migration is initially scheduled to cover Nairobi.

Government has insisted the deadline would be moved.

– CAJ News



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