Court allows digital migration dates as set by Communications Authority

The Communications Authority of Kenya offices in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE
The Communications Authority of Kenya offices in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE 

The planned digital migration will continue as scheduled after the Supreme Court allowed the move, meaning Kenyans who have not switched to the new platform will be locked out of their favourite television channels.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) on November 28 last year had announced analogue switch-off dates for various regions in the country.

The switch-off for Mombasa, Malindi, Nyeri, Meru, Kisumu, Webuye, Kakamega, Kisii, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nyahururu, Nyadundi, Machakos, Narok, Londiani and Rongai was set for February 2.

“The general switch-off dates from the analogue to the digital platform shall remain as scheduled by the Communications Authority of Kenya,” said the Supreme Court judges on Friday.

In the ruling Friday, the CA was also directed to reinstate the self-provisioning licence and digital frequencies it had withdrawn from the Africa Digital Network – a consortium of three media houses Nation Media Group, Standard Group and Royal Media Services.

CA had on February 6 lifted the suspension of the digital broadcasting licence on condition that the three media houses meet four conditions among them paying a penalty fee of Sh500,000 each for running a misleading advertisement against the Kenya Information Communication Act 1998 section 46 (1).

The other conditions included to commit themselves not to use their media outlets for selective and misleading adverts, including refusal to carry advertisement on digital migration; to offer their set-top boxes for type approval; and commit not to engage in anti-competitive behaviour.

The regulator had set the analogue switch-off date for Nairobi and its environs for December 31 last year.

The others including Garissa, Kitui, Lodwar, Lokichogio, Kapenguria, Kabarnet, Migori, Voi, Mbwinzau/Kibwezi, and Namanga, are set to be switched off on March 30.