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
Minister urges Rwandan girls to enter ICT careersRwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, has called on Rwandan girls to take up studies and careers in ICT as these offer a chance for them to enhance their skills and tackle unemployment challenges. Read More
Rwanda ranked first globally in ICT promotionThe Global Information Technology Report (GITR) 2015 has ranked Rwanda first globally in Government Success in ICT promotion to drive social and economic transformation. Read More
Uganda NBI Phase 3 to commencePhase 3 of Uganda’s National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) has been approved by Government and is now set to commence. Read More
Kenyan tech development held back by corruption - NdemoKenya’s development as a tech hub in East Africa is being held back by corruption and “tender-preneurs” says Dr Bitange Ndemo, former PS at the Ministry of ICT. Read More
Zambian president witnesses MoU signing with HuaweiThe President of the Republic of Zambia, H.E. Edgar Lungu, met with Huawei Senior Vice President Mr. Dafeng Li during his visit to Shenzhen in China. Read More
East African countries to expand One-Network-Area to data, mobile moneyKenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda will in the next year extend the One-Network-Area concept to data and mobile money. Read More
APC judgment: NCC seeks stay of executionNCC is seeking a stay of execution of judgement following a notice of appeal against the High Court judgement that it violated the rights of the APC. Read More
Digital can overcome Africa’s challenges – Ivory Coast PMAfrica has serious challenges and to overcome them, the continent needs to go the digital route, Ivory Coast Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan said at the 2015 Africa IT & Telecom Forum (AITTF) last week. Read More
NCC postpones 2.6GHz spectrum auction againNigeria’s telecoms industry regulator has again postponed the proposed auctioning of the 2.6 gigahertz (GHZ) spectrum band. Read More
Public private partnerships panacea to broadband development, says Etisalat chiefChief Executive Officer of Etisalat Group, Ahmad Julfar has identified public private partnership (PPP) as one approach that could help African countries boost broadband development. He argued that access to broadband is a basic right for everyone. Read More
FEATURED STORYe-commerce space untapped, says phonekings head
E-commerce is the future, says the head of a new online electronics mall launched in Nigeria. Tayo Olusanya spoke to Kokumo Goodie in Lagos.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHVillagers get solar training at Barefoot College
The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India.
COMPANY NEWSICT skills in Kenya to grow as ICT Authority and Microsoft sign MOU
Kenya’s ICT Authority and Microsoft have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will, among other things, see Microsoft offer support in providing a platform that will ...