Kenya’s telecom industry regulator Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is set to detach broadcast signal distributor, Signet from national broadcaster, KBC, to enable the former to transmit content from other media stations in pure discretion.
The announcement was made today by CA director general Francis Wangusi during a press briefing held at Ole Sereni where the Authority in consultation with key stakeholders subjected the Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Act draft regulations to public for consultations.
Mr Wangusi also said that restructuring process of Signet was already in place.
Launched in 2009, Signet is a subsidiary of the National Broadcaster, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) and was authorized as the first Broadcast Signal Distributor that broadcasts and distribute the DTT signals on DVB-T2. The Signet platform currently has up to 35 channels.
On December 9,2009, the pilot DVB-T signal, provided by SIGNET, was launched by President Mwai Kibaki in Nairobi and its environs and in December 2010, the government made the decision to upgrade the DVB-T technology to DVB-T2 which offers better package.
In October 2011, CA licensed Pan Africa Network Group (Kenya) Co. Ltd, as the second Broadcast Signal Distributor and from February 2012, the Signet DVB-T2 digital platform went on air in Nairobi and its environs.
As at November 2012, the DVB-T2 signal had covered Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Meru.
The move by the regulator also comes days after Media houses under their umbrella body, Digital Broadcasters Association, told National Assembly’s Energy, Information and Communication Committee that they were uncomfortable with the Chinese-owned PANG and Signet and wanted them replaced with an independent body that would manage the system fairly. They told the House Committee Members that they are uncomfortable with the two companies distributing their signals.
Mr. Wangusi also pointed out the Digital Migration is set to go on as arranged as the country looks forward to moving to the third and final phase set to take place on 30th March 2015 and shall cover Garissa, Kitui, Lodwar, Lokichogio, Kapenguria, Kabarnet, Migori, Voi (Vuria), Mbwinzau/Kibwezi, Namanga and all other remaining sites
He also said that the regulator will be carrying out an audit soon to let the public know how the country was fairing on with the Migration. “We look forward to complete the whole Migration before the World Digital Migration Deadline, so that we can release enough spectrum and start working on the roll out of Broadband Infrastructure by July,” he concluded.
(Source from http://allafrica.com/stories/201503110344.html)