The Daily Nation is reporting that Information Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i agreed to push the migration deadline to June next year after meeting the president. Matiang’i is yet to discuss with media owners in Kenya on setting a new schedule than the one already set.
Digital Migration in Kenya is becoming a dramatic debate with several dates announced and timelines set. In December 2012, the country was supposed to move to the new platform, that was pushed to June this year. That was pushed again to December 2013. Now it has been pushed to June 2014.
This push comes just a week after the same Cabinet Secretary launched an awareness campaign that sent chilling fears among unprepared stakeholders. The move also raises questions on coordination in the country’s executive arm or the ability of the new Cabinet Secretary to deliver.
Speaking to the paper, Mr Kiprono Kittony the Media Owners Association (MOA) Chairman said moving the deadline to June 2014 would give the stakeholders more time to discuss some of the issues at hand.
He said:“The change of dates will allow us to address certain issues the government has not addressed. First of all, as media owners, we have had issues with foreign ownership of signal distributors. This will allow us to address that.
“Secondly, we are not satisfied that there are enough STBs (Set Top Boxes) out there. We don’t want to disenfranchise Kenyans when the deadline arrives in December. If you look at Tanzania for example, they have had a similar narrative, which we are trying to avoid.”
Apart from the Media Owners Association seeking the president’s intervention on digital migration, the Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) earlier went to court to allow Kenyans prepare for digital migration.
Last week, while flagging off Gotv’s digital migration awareness campaign in Nairobi, Dr. Evans Kidero, Nairobi Governor said there was need for stakeholders to ensure the cost of migration was affordable. He said the Ksh 3000 to Ksh 4000 price on set top boxes was not affordable to all city residents and switching off would put them in the dark.
The media owners are also demanding for the third digital signal distribution license after a Chinese firm was allocated instead of the association.