Kenya to introduce set top box subsidies

tv Robert S. DonovanThe subsidies shall be implemented through the Universal Access Fund and will be managed by the CCK. (Image source: Robert S. Donovan/Flickr)Kenya's digital migration process has become cheaper with the introduction of set top box subsidies

The Kenyan government has said the subsidies will be implemented through the Universal Access Fund and will be managed by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), who regulates the telecoms sector in the country.

The government has revealed the information at a time when the country was preparing for a transition from analogue to digital broadcasting in 2013.

Kenya had intended to begin the switch-off in Nairobi by end of December 2012, but lobby group Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) went to court seeking postponement. The case will be heard on 11 January 2013.

The government has informed that the subsidies, to be paid directly to importers of the equipment, were expected to cut by up to half the current prices of the digital receivers.

It added that the country will be following in the footsteps of South Africa, which has set the digital migration deadline for June 2013 and was subsidising the cost of set top boxes to make them affordable to poor segments of the population.

South Africa, however, faced the task of determining the number of people who were eligible for the price cut that targeted about 450,000 households. 

CCK has said that it shall ascertain the number of analogue television sets currently in use across the country, using the household appliances information gathered during the 2009 census for ease of facilitating the subsidy.

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