The government has postponed the date for the beginning of analogue TV switch-off to June 2014, following a successful petition by the Media Owners Association, which opposed the original deadline as unfeasible and said that not all the stakeholders were ready.

The decision comes less than three months before the original date. Ezekiel Mutua, Kenya’s information secretary, said the trade association presented a strong petition against the original December 2013 switch-off date in Nairobi, reported the African technology news site, HumanIPO.

The media owners said the June date would allow more time for the government to address issues on digital signal distribution and provision of set-top boxes. The date change is the latest in a long line of delays. The migration date was initially set for December 2012, then September 2013, but those dates were blocked by court order after a protest by the Consumer Federation of Kenya, arguing that the timeline was not favourable to many Kenyans.

HumanIPO reported that the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) had started a consumer awareness campaign on the transition process after publishing a public notice this month signalling that the first phase of the process would begin in Nairobi on 13 December.

Francis Wangusi, CCK director-general, told HumanIPO: “Consumer education on the migration process is necessary to give information about the acquisition of the set-top boxes. The phased approach to the switch-off will give us sufficient time to pre-test the signal strength before the final national switch-off.”

Kenya is still aiming for the global deadline of June 2015 for completion of transition, set by the ITU.

See also:

Kenya to begin analogue TV signal switch-off in December
State of the nations: digital transition in Africa