CCK changes policy to cut price of digital TV converters
GOVERNMENT| 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
UNDP donates ICT equipment for DRC electionsThe United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has donated ICT equipment to the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to support the electoral process in this war-hit Central African nation. Read More
Ghana govt to appoint interconnect clearing houseGhana’s Minister of Communication has hinted at the government’s intention of appointing a company to take charge of the country’s interconnect clearing house by the end of this year. Read More
IPO not foreigner-friendlyThe CEO of BTCL, Paul Taylor, has allayed fears that foreigners resident in Botswana will snap up shares reserved for locals when his organisation starts the Initial Public Offering in November. Read More
Congo Brazzaville’s bid to switch to e-agricultureThe Central African nation of Congo-Brazzaville has 10 million hectares of arable land, but has so far used only 2% of that land. Analysts believe that the country could 'move mountains' and eradicate hunger with the use of ICTs in improving agriculture. Read More
Malawi Agriculture transport system automatedIn partnership with Techno Brain, Malawi’s Agriculture Ministry has launched the first Automated Fleet Management Information System in public service in Malawi. Read More
Telecom Namibia starts work on govt fibre networkTelecom Namibia Managing Director Frans Ndoroma says the national telecommunications services provider has started constructing a fibre-based network to connect the central government to the administrative capitals of all 14 regions in the country. Read More
NCC slams indigenous firms over incompetenceThe Nigerian Communications Commission has slammed indigenous operators in the industry over ‘incompetence and culture of impunity’. Read More
Malawi explores initiatives for rural mobile roll-outThe Government of Malawi is exploring ways and means to reach out to the far-flung areas with mobile phone service communication in line with the country’s revised Communications Act. Read More
BOCRA cracks whip on hospitality industryThe Botswana Communications and Regulation Authority (BOCRA) has issued guidelines on minimum internet connectivity requirements for Botswana’s hospitality industry. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSCNN, MultiChoice name top African Journalist 2014
Kenyan journalist Joseph Mathenge has been awarded the top prize at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2014 Awards Ceremony.