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Digital migration spurs uptake of home internet

23 February 2015, 08:11

Nairobi - The migration from analogue to digital television broadcasting in Kenya is making citizens embrace home internet.

A good number of Kenyans seeking to make the shift have acquired home internet that comes with pay TV. Besides home internet and pay TV, the Kenyans are also getting a landline phone.

Most of those embracing home internet mainly because of digital migration are middle income families, whose uptake of pay TV in the East African nation has been on upward trend.

The families are paying between KES 3750 and KES 9350 a month to watch pay TV, alongside getting phone and internet services.

"I would not be having internet at home if it was not for digital migration. It is the switch to digital broadcasting that made me shop around for a pay TV package that will offer me more," Wilfred Agoya, an accountant in Nairobi, said on Saturday.

Agoya said analogue broadcasting made him not think of having internet at home.

"My thinking then was that TV and internet are very separate things. The furthest I went in acquiring internet at home was having a modem, which I used for several years."

The accountant, who is also a businessman, pays KES 3750 per month for the pay TV, internet and phone package. The internet package comes with a 10 mega byte per second (mbps) speed.

"The 10mbps is good enough for me and my family. I have three children in primary school who now enjoy using internet at home. The internet speed allows us to download heavy files, including music videos," said the 41-year-old.

Agoya's children further enjoy a variety of programs on the pay TV channels and they can call him at any time on the landline phone.

"I have to thank the digital migration for opening my eyes. The fear of being switched off for failing to migrate is what drove me to pay TV and I ended up with more," said Agoya who has used the service for four months.

Lawyer Vincent Milimo is another Kenyan who was pushed to acquiring home internet due to the digital migration. The young lawyer, as Agoya, has procured the KES 3750 pay TV service that comes with internet and landline phone.

"The three services are the best thing I have offered to my young family," said the father of two who acquired pay TV two months ago.

Also read: TV stations remain off air as analogue ruling postponed

The home internet service recently came in handy for the lawyer as he has had turned to webcasts posted on-line by four TV stations following a standoff between them and the Kenyan government over digital migration.

The four stations namely KTN, NTV, Citizen TV and QTV have been off fair for over a week now, but they have been broadcasting their news on-line.

"With the home internet, I have not missed the news bulletins. The internet is fast enough to allow me to watch the webcasts though sometimes it hangs," said Milimo.

Bernard Mwaso of Edell IT Solution said that digital migration comes with many benefits for Kenyans that many had not figured out.

"It might even help to resuscitate the landline phone, whose fortune has dropped in Kenya. The pay TV service providers only need to come up with affordable packages like pay TV and internet only or pay TV and landline phone, and Kenyans will embrace them," said Mwaso, though adding that not many can afford the KES 3750 monthly.

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- Xinhua


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