Advanced Television

Kenya to decide digital future

February 13, 2014

By Chris Forrester

A Kenya appeal court will determine whether the nation can switch off its analogue transmissions on March 14th. Meanwhile, the analogue signals will stay on air.

The Court is responding to applications form three Kenyan media companies which all objected to the decision to dump analogue transmissions in favour of digital transmissions despite it being claimed that there were millions of people who could not view the digital signals. The original analogue switch off was scheduled for December 24th, and the Court granted a 45 day delay, which expired on February 6th. The Court is permitting analogue signals to stay until the Appeal Court hearing.

However, Kenya’s Attorney General said the appeal filed by three media houses had no merit as the deliberations and the migration process was within the policy and the law.

The basis for the appeal seems to be that the State is not permitted to interfere with any properly licensed broadcaster, and that the analogue switch off amounted to interference. One lawyer argued before the Court that with the worldwide date for digital’s introduction not being until June 2015 there is plenty of time for conversion.

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