CCK has warned that around 26 broadcasters risk losing their licenses if they don’t apply for the new regime licenses in time. CCK Director General, Francis Wangusi, indicated that out of the 100 or so broadcasters, only 74 have managed to submit applications for the new licenses and so those who will not have applied by 15th November (4 days) risk losing the authority to operate radio of broadcast stations.
These changes have come about as a result of the regulatory reforms that have created various broadcastingmarket segments. Kenyan broadcasting sector has been segmented into five service areas;
- Public Broadcasting
- Commercial Broadcasting
- Community Broadcasting
- Subscription Broadcasting
- Signal distribution.
Through the Kenya Information and Communications Act, Cap 411A the government gave all broadcasters one year to apply for the new licenses after the amendment of the Kenya Communications Act 2008 to usher in the Kenya Communications (Broadcasting) Regulations in 2009. These amendment vested CCK with with additional mandate key being, to license and regulate broadcasting services in Kenya. Media owners challenged the new Communications Act in court hence the delay in implementation.
CCK say that it notified all broadcasters on 15th August 2011, providing a window of three months for submission of applications for licences as provided for in the Kenya Information and Communications Act, Cap 411A. CCK has also indicated that it “shall also take action against any broadcaster in possession of illegal frequency resources after the lapse of the 15th November 2011 deadline.”
CCK has also indicated that it will not be oblidged to renew any license of existing broadcaster who will not have reapplied for the new license in July 2012.
CCK has further indicated that it will launch a major consumer awareness campaign over the migration from analogue to digital broadcasting. The communications services regulator also informed journalist that the local broadcasters have not formed a consortium to bid for the opportunity of being the third digital signal distributor.