It is official, Exactly 42 days from now, Communications Authority of Kenya will see through the switching of analogue broadcast signals within Nairobi. This comes 45 days prior the end of negotiation window period ordered by the Supreme Court.
According to director of the communications regulator Francis Wangusi , no television broadcasters will be allowed to air programmes using analogue signals. The move however contradicts with the decision made by supreme court that ordered Communications Authority to negotiate with Media houses; Standard Media Group, Nation Media, Royal media and any other parties of interest on the acquisition of digital broadcasting license.
Communications Authority has claimed to have set up meetings as had been directed by supreme court but media houses absconded negotiations. On the other end, Media houses have denied any involvement pertaining meetings. Nevertheless, the Authority has maintained that the date of switch off won’t be changed and has set March next year as digital deadline migration for other parts of the country.
Estimates have shown that half of Nairobi residents have migrated thus far and the remaining days should see the rest cross-over. Digital migration has been postponed for quite a while in the country ahead of June 2015 International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) ultimate deadline.
Recently, the reason tagged with postponing the migration was the Media Owners Association complains on license issuance, a process that left out major media houses owing to the delay. Supreme court then ordered for the two parties to get involved in an open dialogue and agree on a possible award of extra license to concerned parties that could also be private investors.
The delay has seen Kenya derail the East African region whose countries are quite ahead with the process so far therefore risking a penalty by the Telecommunications Union that will see the country switch off its analogue signals within 100km-radius from its boarders.