Media owners in Kenya are now crying foul and have now suspended provision of content to KBC for digital broadcasting. The MOA are saying that the government is giving priority to foreign broadcasters and ignoring local broadcasters in the provision of digital signals.

They say the action of the government is suspect and that their applications have been ignored and foreign application for the digital signals prioritised. They say the action of the government is suspect and clouded with dishonesty.

The local broadcasters are all to offer content for digital testing to KBC, through a subsidiary company, Signet. But some foreign pay TV channels have been hiring test signals from KBC locking out local broadcasters.

“Digital frequencies are a limited resource and priority should be given to free-to-air channels, to encourage take up of digital TV without putting a monthly financial burden on viewers who already have to bear the cost of acquiring a set top box,” the statement from MOA added.

In December 2009, the Kenyan government launched the first phase of digital TV broadcasting at a cost of Sh200 million as it sought to beat a global 2015 deadline for all countries to migrate from analogue signals. Kenyan government has put national digital migration deadline at December 2012.
Already there is an outcry from consumers and some broadcasters like Smart TV following the recent announcement by the Ministry of Information that the country must adopt DVB-T2 and discard DVB-T. DVB-T2 is the latest digital broadcast technology platform. The outcry is that over 40,000 consumers had already bought the DVB-T set top boxes at Ksh 5,000 each and that is a major loss to the consumers and broadcasters who have to immediately upgrade.
The government has also banned the importation of the DVB-T platform set top boaxes.