The Communications Authority of Kenya has directed pay-TV providers to allow Free To Air broadcast access on their decoders.
It gave an example of GOTV set-top boxes which have been barred from receiving FTA channels transmitted from PANG, Signet, Bamba and ADN.
In a letter dated March 30, CA director-general Mercy Wanjau said that the directive arose from complaints by consumers.
Wanjau noted that consumers alleged that some service providers have configured their DTT platforms to bar some their set top boxes from receiving free to air TV signal from other platforms.
“The said action is contrary to our regulatory directive that all type approved DVB-T2 set top boxes should be configured to receive all FTA channels transmitted from any available DTT platform without any restriction whatsoever,” the letter said.
Two years before the digital migration in Kenya, GOTV and Star-Times had received licences to the disadvantage of the other players.
And even after the digital migration, these platforms have been blocking access for FTAs unless the customer has paid.
Wanjau added that barring reception of FTA broadcasting signals is a violation of licence conditions and the law.
“This is therefore to direct all licensed DTT broadcast signal distributors and DTT pay-TV providers to unconditionally remove any restrictions and enable reception of all FTA broadcast signals from all other DTT platforms within forty-eight hours from the date of this letter, failure to which the Authority will take necessary measures to stop the violation,” the letter concluded.
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