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Kenyan authorities adamant on digital migration schedule

Kenyan authorities adament on digital migration schedule.

Communication authorities in Kenya have confirmed that they will go ahead with the planned digital switch from analogue to digital broadcasting. Three broadcasters have submitted an application to have, amongst other requests, the process halted and the court hearing of this application is scheduled to take place today.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) said that the court ruling on digital migration by the Supreme Court only prohibited the Authority from cancelling the licences of three local broadcasting stations in the run up to the digital migration - but was free to proceed with the digital change.

The Standard group (owning Kenya Television Network), Nation Media group (owning Nation Television) and Royal Media Services (owning Citizen Television), had gone to the Supreme Court to block the switch off date for Nairobi set on December 31st, but did not manage to totally block the digital migration.

The authority proceeded to order all stations to shut off their analogue systems and move to digital broadcasting that began on the night of December 31st.

"The Supreme Court remained silent on some of the requests in the application. On this basis, the CA will proceed with regulatory notices as communicated to the analogue television broadcasters," a statement from the Authority said.

Mutua Muthusi, Director, Consumer and Public Affairs at CAK, clarified that no broadcasting licences of any analogue broadcasting service provider shall be cancelled by the Authority.

However, the ruling protected the three local stations from the switchover, for the time being. The Supreme Court also gave the Communications Authority 90 days to deliberate on issuing a digital broadcasting licence to the local broadcasters.

The Communication Authority has stuck to its plans and by February 2nd all other major towns in Kenya will have to abandon their analogue system. The rest of the country will go digital by the end of March.

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