Kenya was due to switch off its analogue TV transmission in Nairobi, the nation’s capital, on December 31st 2012. The rest of the country was then expected to speedily follow. That date was missed because of the shortage of set-top boxes, and lack of public awareness about the adoption of digital TV.
A new date of September 15th has now been set, with various public bodies including the Communications Commission of Kenya and the Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) agreeing to solve the problems of pricing, quality and general public awareness concerning the digital switch. Cofek Secretary-General Stephen Mutoro said “The two parties agreed that mechanisms to lower the cost of Set Top Boxes be explored further in order that the price comes down significantly,” he said, adding: “CCK would also address warranty issues and ensure, to extent practicable, availability of sufficient digital signal strengths within Nairobi and outskirts which will be affected in phase one of the planned switch off.”
The two organisations agreed that the government increases the number of dealers from the current 22 to help serve the whole country, besides reducing the tax charged on STBs as a way of reducing prices.
Kenya’s Information secretary Bitange Ndemo said earlier that only 105,000 out of the total one million analogue television owners in Nairobi had invested in set-top boxes by November.