Zero Rating of Set Top Boxes a significant boost to Digital Migration by the Government

By / March 27, 2015




The Government has taken steps to ensure affordability of STBs by zero rating import duty and waived vendor registration fee and reduced type approval fee for set top boxes (STBs) from Kshs 20,000 to Kshs 4,000. This is significant because it addresses the issue of affordability of the STBS by the majority of Kenyans. In his address of the State of the Nation, the President reiterated his government’s commitment to ensure that digital migration was a success and that the myriad of opportunities within unlocked.

Communication Authority has revised the minimum specifications for STBs making the Conditional Access feature optional for STBs intended for free to air (FTA) use. This is all in place to be able to make the STBS more accessible. The communication’s Authority has also liberalized the supply of Set Top Boxes to allow more players into the market. More players in the market means, more affordable STBS and better quality.

These initiatives were aimed at lowering entry barriers, creating competition, driving the STB retail prices down, and greatly enhancing affordability of the gadgets to consumers. This presents an eco-system that is better geared at ensuring that all Kenyans have access to digital TV and that the opportunities there in are unlocked to create the needed job opportunities. This is an unprecedented moment for entrepreneurs in content generation to unlock their potential.

For the first time, the consumer has the option of defining the kind of content they would like to watch and at what time. The digital migration equation has been about better content and diverse content. For the first time, the consumer is the decision maker and not the broadcaster. Consumers do not need a specific Set Top Box to receive and watch Free-to-Air (FTA) channels. Any Type approved FTA set Top Box should be able to receive all Free to air channels. This means, over 60 channels are going to be at the disposal of viewers to determine what they watch. The opportunity in this for content vendors is huge and it’s one that must be taken up pronto. The Authority Type Approves set top boxes and Integrated Digital TVs for use in Kenya, details are available on the Digital Kenya website: www.digitalkenya.go.ke

This goes ahead to show that the government through the Communications Authority has the best interests for all kenyans in this digital migration issue and it’s our duty to keep educating others to be able to appreciate it.





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