Communications Authority shuts TV stations’ analogue signals

The Communications Authority of Kenya Saturday made true its warning to three media houses that their analogue signals would be switched off if they failed to migrate to digital platform after February 13 mid night. The directive had been given on Friday after the Supreme Court ordered CA to restore the frequencies for the three media houses under the Africa Digital Network consortium.

“Any broadcaster still on analogue platform will be doing so illegally and the authority shall take regulatory action against them,” said CA Director General Francis Wangusi on Friday. The authority forced KTN, NTV, QTV and Citizen TV out of analogue broadcasting on Saturday afternoon, leaving over 90 per cent of Kenyans staring at blank screens.

The broadcasters’ analogue transmitters located in Limuru were shut down even before CA reinstated digital frequencies for the media houses. Friday, a 7-judge bench ordered the authority to restore the frequencies which it had annulled following a complaint by pay TV providers Star Times and GoTV.

“The Communications Authority of Kenya is to restore the Authorisation for Self-Provisioning Digital Signal Distribution and the several digital frequencies it had granted to the said respondents (Standard Group, Nation Media Group and Royal Media Services) if it has not already done so,” the Supreme court ordered. Today’s switch off affects Nairobi and its environs whose migration was meant to take place on December 31.

The second phase that was to be effective February 2 covers Mombasa, Malindi, Nyeri, Meru, Kisumu, Webuye, Kakamega, Kisii, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nyahururu (Nyadundo), Machakos, Narok and Loldiani (Rongai). The third phase, covering Garissa, Kitui, Lodwar, Lokichogio, Kapenguria, Kabarnet, Migori, Voi (Vuria), Mbwinzau/Kibwezi, Namanga and all other remaining sites, will take effect on March 30.