NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 13 – The Communications Authority of Kenya has directed all media houses to migrate to the digital platform effective Friday midnight.
This is after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the authority that the dates it had set for migration from digital to analogue remain the same thereby withdrawing earlier orders allowing three broadcasters, KTN, NTV and Citizen TV to broadcast on the digital platform.
“The three media houses and any other network currently broadcasting on the analogue platform in the areas already switched off are required to migrate to the digital platform with immediate effect. Any broadcaster still on the analogue platform will be doing so illegally and the Authority shall take regulatory action against them,” said Wangusi
He urged other Kenyans to make efforts to migrate and ensure a smooth transition to the digital platform ahead of the next switch-off phase set for 30th March saying this would ensure Kenya beats the global deadline for migration set for 17th June this year.
His sentiments were reiterated by Information, Communication and Technology Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i welcomed the Supreme Court’s rulings taking the time to urge the disgruntled media houses to work with the regulator to ensure smooth transition.
“The government position has been that we support migration from analogue to digital broadcasting, we must respect the international treaties that we have signed — we are grateful about the Supreme Court ruling today, and we are happy as the Ministry and the regulator that the Court has vindicated us, that we were right all along and that we have always acted in accordance with the law,” stated Matiang’i
Matiang’i urged the three media houses to engage with others in the industry to ensure they are on board.
He blamed the media houses for taking a hard-line stance and refusing to engage with them and instead engaging in complex court processes that waste time telling them to work with the regulator so as to ensure successful migration.
“We have all leant big lessons from this experience and I hope the three broadcasters and other in the sector have leant that sometimes it may necessary to litigate and go to court, but where opportunities for discussion, consultations and amicable solutions abound such as this case, there is no need to lose time in court cases and constant conflict,” said Matiang’i.
He urged the media houses to voice their concerns to the Ministry and the regulator so as to enhance peaceful co-existence.
Matiang’i noted the fact that technology was constantly evolving and the need to catch up with it, telling Kenyans to ensure they have proper set up boxes to be able to enjoy more variety from the diverse channels.
Wangusi warned media houses which had already migrated and chose to revert back to the digital platform that they should be the first to switch to the digital platform.
Three media houses (Nation Media Group, Standard Group and Royal Media Services) had moved to the Supreme Court seeking an extension of the migration period as they were not prepared, the Court on 5th January ruled that they could continue broadcasting on the analogue platform until the full bench heard and ruled on the case.