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Cofek Secretary General Stephen Mutoro


Cofek back in court to stop digital TV switch

Cofek Secretary General Stephen Mutoro

Cofek Secretary General Stephen Mutoro

NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 7 – The Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) will be back in court next week seeking to block the planned switch from analogue to digital TV signals that is set for Nairobi on December 13, 2013.

Cofek Secretary General Stephen Mutoro says the Ministry of Information Communication and Technology did not address the issues the body raised over the migration.

The federation had withdrawn its case in June against the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) after the government agreed to initiate dialogue on the matter.

“We will be seeking to withdraw the consent we signed with the government because they did not honour the pledges we agreed. The case will be back in court next week,” Mutoro told Capital FM Business.

Mutoro says the government did not revise the price of Set Top Boxes that is still high.

“We want the cost of the Set Top Boxes to be not more than Sh3,000 each which are now retailing between Sh5,000 and Sh7,000,” he said.

The body also wants the government to check the signal strength of the proposed Set Top Boxes in order to have a huge presence in the country.

“The consumer awareness levels are still low, over four million users are still on analogue, many of whom don’t understand the importance of digital migration,” he stated.

The body also proposes a uniform switch off of analogue to be done in June 30, 2014.

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On Tuesday, the government said the analogue television broadcast signal will be switched off in Nairobi on December 13 this year.

Other major towns that include Mombasa, Malindi, Nyeri, Meru, Kisumu, Webuye, Kisii, Nakuru and Eldoret will be switched off on March 30 next year.

The remaining towns will be switched off in June next year.

Two weeks ago, Cofek withdrew from the Digital Television Committee accusing the government of sidelining them.

The government had pledged that the Digital Migration Committee was to be chaired by Cofek but that did not materialize.

“The ministry instead decided to appoint Cofek as a member of the Digital Television Committee,” Mutoro regretted.

The consumer lobby has been against the migration since September last year, claiming that Kenyans were not yet ready due to the high costs they were expected to incur to ensure a smooth process.

There is a 2015 global deadline for migration to digital TV signals.

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