Lack of funds hits Kenya’s digital switchover, priority on general elections

Kenya’s process of undertaking the digital switchover is said to have suffered a major setback as funds from the government is not is forthcoming, reports in Kenya say.

The country’s full switch is said to commence in the first half of 2012.

The Business Daily reports December 9, 2011 that by June this year (2011), the government had allocated the project Sh650 million while the full switch scheduled to commence in seven months requires Sh3 billion.

The Communications Council of Kenya (CCK) told the daily that the country has prioritised next year’s general election hence the project faces a major funding challenge.

“The 2012 election is diverting government attention away from the digital migration project. Limited fiscal allocation for migration infrastructure rollout has delayed the process,” Ms Rosemary Mwangi, an officer in CCK’s digital wing secretariat was quoted as saying in an interview with the Business Daily.

Total budgetary allocation for the project is supposed to be utilised in building towers, upgrading of current equipment and consumer education, according to the publication.

The project will see all television users migrate to DVBT-2 signal network as opposed to the current DVB-T platform.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has set midnight of June 17, 2015 as the deadline for all countries to move to digital TV.

By Ekow Quandzie

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