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STBs demand soars as digital deadline looms

11 November 2013, 10:23

Nairobi - Demand for Set Top Boxes (STBs) has surged in recent days after government officials insisted the deadline to switch over from analogue to digital broadcasting would not be extended.

Ahead of the past weekend, Information and Communication Technology Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiangi, reiterated that the migration deadline would not be moved from December 13 despite concerns by stakeholders in the broadcasting sector.

It is feared that more than 1.5 million Kenyans might be inconvenienced by the December switch off that is scheduled to start from Nairobi town before extension to other towns, hence the rush to buy STBs.

Pay television firms such as such as GOTV, DSTV and ZUKU are expected to make immense profits with this rush.

“One realises the switch off will come during the December festivities a time when children will be home for their end year holiday. This is why I have decided to purchase and install this GOTV pay channel

TV in advance,” said John Walekho, a resident in Nairobi after making a purchase.

The majority of Kenyans CAJ News interviewed in the capital city said they had not prepared adequately for the pending switch-off with most of them citing the high prices of the STB as the main reason as to why they had not acquired the gadget.

“The STB are expensive to acquire, the government should have subsidized their prizes to make affordable for ordinary Kenyans,” said a source from Analogue-Digital Migration who requested anonymity as she was not authorized to speak to the media.

Locals also complained that much had not been done in terms of public sensitizing of the analogue-digital migration.

They further called upon the government to reconsider its deadline as, if it remained unchanged, would cut out many Kenyans from essential broadcasting services.

– CAJ News


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