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Government adamant on digital migration deadline

05 November 2013, 11:32

Nairobi - The government insisted it would next month switch off signals to households and businesses that did not meet the December 13 deadline to migrate to digital broadcasting.

This is contrary to reports the deadline had been moved from December 13 to July next year.

Cabinet Secretary for Information and Communications, Dr Fred Matiangi, reiterated that the deadline set for next month still stood.

All the analogue television signals in Nairobi and its environs would be switched off and the exercise would continue to other parts of the country as it follows phases, he insisted.

“As per the gazette notice No 13869 of 18th October, Nairobi and its environs (Rongai, Ngong, Athi River, Isinya, Thika, Parts of Machakos and Githunguri) will have the analogue signal switched off,” read a statement from Matiangi.

Matiangi added that the dates for the switch off were arrived at after extensive consultations with stakeholders and called upon the media owners to stop creating “barriers” because of their “unpreparedness.”

Earlier on, the media owners had cautioned that sticking to the deadline would lock out many Kenyans since majority of them had not acquired the Set Top Boxes that convert analogue signals to digital signals.

They had also displayed fears that there were no enough Set Top Boxes to cater for the local market.

Kenyans would be required to purchase the Set Top Boxes or subscribe to the pay TV channel that comes with varying packages depending on the subscription one would have chosen. The pay TV channels are way beyond the affordability of many average Kenyans, which makes them a least preferred option.

Matiangi accused the media owners of trying to sabotage the migration process disowning their claims that the Chinese were to take over the country terming such arguments as selfish.

He noted that the digital footprint of the country stood at 80 percent, an indication that the country was ready for takeoff.

The migration to digital broadcasting is in line with the deadline the International Telecommunications Union set for 2015.

– CAJ News


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