The supreme court of Kenya, on the digital TV case has ordered the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) to reopen licensing of digital signal distribution for 90 days.
The court also wants the regulator as well as the three local media houses, Nation Media Group, Royal Media Services and Standard Media Group, to agree on a new timeline on the migration from analogue to digital television broadcast. Chief Justice Willy Mutunga directed the parties to dialogue and reach at an amicable new date for transition within 30 days.
This means that the transition from analogue to digital deadline is yet to be established, but it looks like the three media houses will have the signal distribution license they have been looking for all this while.
The Supreme Court bench on the matter consisted of Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, his deputy Lady Justice Kalpana Rawal, Judges Jackton Ojwang, Smokin Wanjala, Philip Tunoi, Njoki Ndung’u and Mohammed Ibrahim.
The petition, was filed at the High Court in October last year by the Nation Media Group, Royal Media Services and Standard Media Group
Kenya was to transit from analogue to digital by the end of 2011 but the process was impossible due to logistic reasons as well as inadequate distribution of digital converters. The d-day was rescheduled for December 31 2012 but was rejected when Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) a lobby group, went to court to stop the process.
Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) argued that Kenyan consumers were not ready for the switch-off owing to the high cost of set-top-boxes (converters that enable analogue TV sets receive digital signals.)