CCK changes policy to cut price of digital TV converters
GOVERNMENTBy BiztechAfrica - Aug. 28, 2012, 6:54 p.m.
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya has moved to cut price of digital TV devices that are key in the shift from analogue to Digital TV broadcasting.
The greatest barrier to the success of digital migration has been the access to affordable set-top boxes.
The price of set-top boxes is set to fall by at least over 40% after the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) changed minimum specifications, which allows for importation of equipment that exclusively support free-to-air (FTA) channels.
In the last national budget, the government waived the import taxes on the gadgets to make them cheaper but the CCK policy on what kind of gadgets to import has been an impediment.
Prior to this revision of policy, CCK only allowed importation of set-top boxes on the Digital Video Broadcast Technology 2 (DVB-T2) that could access both pay and free-to-air channels whether or not the consumer subscribes to pay- TV.
It is this “conditional access” feature, a technology allowing pay TV broadcasters to control what viewers watch and one whose installation cost is estimated at about USD40 (Sh3,360), that has been removed.
This now allows vendors to import two types of set-top boxes — the less-advanced gadget only accessing FTA channels like NTV, KTN, Citizen and K24 and the costlier one that allows airing of both free and premium channels.
“The minimum specifications for DVB-T2 set-top boxes have been revised making the conditional access feature optional for DVB-T2 set top boxes intended for use to receive Free-to-Air TV content,” CCK said in a public notice to vendors and consumers on Tuesday
“However, the set-top boxes intended for pay/subscription TV, conditional access still remains a mandatory feature,” added CCK.
With this change the cost of exclusive free-to-air set-top- boxes is expected to go down from the current Sh8,000 a gadget to about Sh4,600.
However the cost would only go down once traders import the cheaper gadgets.
According to Ministry of Information Permanent Secretary, Bitange Ndemo, the digital signal is now available in all the major towns in Kenya and is expected to be available in all parts, at least 80% coverage, by the end of 2012.
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
Côte d’Ivoire adopts Bill on Electronic TransactionsThe Committee on Economic and Financial Affairs of the National Assembly of the Côte d’Ivoire has adopted the new Bill on Electronic Transactions. Read More
Kenyan postal sector to be modernisedThe Kenyan Government has challenged the country’s postal sector to use ICTs to meet new customer demands. Read More
British PM praises AfDB for African infrastructure developmentBritish Prime Minister David Cameron has praised the African Development Bank (AfDB) and President Donald Kaberuka for pioneering initiatives to scale the continent’s infrastructure development. Read More
NCS roots for IT MinistryNigerian IT stakeholders say the country needs a dedicated IT Ministry to support the development of the IT industry. Read More
20th EACO congress set for KenyaThe East African Communications Organisations (EACO) Congress and Exhibition is scheduled to take place in Nairobi, Kenya, this month. Read More
Ministry seeks young innovatorsThe Botswana Ministry of Transport and Communication has launched a competition that targets young innovators in the country. Read More
IBM presents smart traffic plan to Lagos stateA team of IBM experts has presented recommendations to Nigeria's Lagos State Government to ensure that traffic flows more efficiently in the city of Lagos. Read More
Burkina Faso looks to modernised bordersThe World Customs Organisation (WCO) has met officials in Burkina Faso for talks on modernised border controls. Read More
Up to 28,000 jobs from new Maadi Technology ParkEgyptian authorities have inaugurated the next phase of the new technology park at Maadi, which is expected to create up to 28,000 direct and indirect jobs on completion. Read More
FEATURED STORYRed tape slows business in Africa
The sheer complexity of travelling to many African countries is hampering the roll-out of business there, says Carlos Ferraz, GM of Motorola Solutions.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica must think beyond blue collar jobs
Pan-African job creation initiatives need to look beyond basic job creation, to high level ICT skills development, to develop the economies, says Greg Vercellotti, executive director at Dariel Solutions.