CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

Kenya: Court Grants a Go Ahead to Analogue Transmission Switch-Off in Nairobi

Photo: Caroline Mwakio
Kenya High Court rules in favour of digital migration.

Digital migration will continue as planned after the high court in Nairobi ruled that the date as set by the communications commission of Kenya was reached at after consultations with other stakeholders.

In his ruling the judge also dismissed another petition by the media that the migration begins in 30 days' time from the ruling date.

According to Justice David Majanja no time would be the right time to switch off analogue broadcasting whether now or in future.

"I see no reason to step in and forestall the digital migration process,"he said.

Following the ruling it is up to the CCK to decide on which day is best for the switch off a process that has failed since last year due to ongoing court battles.

During its argument last year the consumers' federation of Kenya (COFEK) said that switching off the analogue broadcasting during the election period would lead to little information trickling down to voters and thus the electorate would not have proper information while voting.

The organization had also argued that the consumers had not been given enough notice and neither had the government ensured the availability and affordability of set top devices to Kenyans.

Following the ruling COFEK has said it did not agree with the ruling terming the current situation a digital crisis.

"DIGITAL CRISIS: Cofek does not agree with judgment and will support appeal if majority consumers agree to the move. Cofek is glad to have offered switch-off reprieve from December 31, last year. We are aware that switching off analogue TV does not amount to digital migration," the lobby group said in a psot.

A part of the media has also been up in arms with the regulator for having failed to issue out a third license to them despite their heavy investment in the sector.

This is despite an earlier position by the government and the then permanent secretary Bitange Ndemo who advised the media to form a consortium that would be issued with the third license.

As a result of suspicion and throat cutting competition amongst the players the media was unable to agree and form out a consortium to date.

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The High Court has dismissed a petition by three media houses seeking to halt the move from analogue to digital television broadcasting. Read more »