Nairobi, Kenya 9th Dec.2009 – Kenya has officially switched from analogue age to digital broadcasting with the launch of the digital terrestrial television broadcasting signals. Kenya becomes the second country in Africa after South Africa to switch to digital signal following today’s launch of terrestrial broadcasting at the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, which has been licensed to relay the digital signals.
The switch which was commissioned by President Mwai Kibaki will see Kenyans receive better quality pictures and sound as well as multiple channels. Speaking during the launch, President Mwai Kibaki called on the Ministry of Finance to impose a tax waiver on all digital equipments so that they can be affordable to all. The president further directed the minister of Information and Communication to ensure all Television station programmes broadcasted half are local to promote local talents and create jobs for hundreds of youths who have talent.
The Communication Commission of Kenya expects the number of television and FM broadcaster to rise steadily with the launch of digital signals. Currently Kenya has 18 licensed free-to-air TV and 60 FM broadcasters, 17 players mainly for the multichannel satellite and cable television service providers who control a subscription clientele of 70,000
Following today’s switch to digital signals Kenya has completed the first phase to move to digital broadcasting a journey which started in April, 2007 at a cost of Ksh 200 million. In the first phase, those residing within the capital, Nairobi and its environs will be able to enjoy better clarity of sound and video with high resolutions. Viewers with analogue TV sets will have to buy a converter box that will convert analogue transmission to digital.
Kenya plans to spend Ksh.3 billions to roll-out digitals signal across the country to meet a self imposed deadline to switch off analogue signals by June 2012 , three years earlier than the world wide deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union which requires all countries to move to digital by 2015.
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