The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has issued a directive to all pay-tv providers including Go To and star times to allow Free-to-Air access in their decoders.
The directive follows complaints from consumers that they were not able to access the FTA services since their service providers had configured their DTT platforms to bar some their set-top boxes from receiving free to air TV signals from other platforms.
CA director-general Mercy Wanjau gave an example of GoTv which has barred consumers from accessing the PANG, Signet, Bamba and ADN channels for free.
“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 CA DG said.
The GOtv and Star times had been given licenses two years before the analog to digital migration thus giving them an upper hand over other service providers.
The two channels have however not allowed access to their FTA channels even after the country fully embraced the digital migration.
According to CA, barring consumers from accessing the Free to Air channels is a crime as it violates the license conditions.
CA thus warned all the service providers involved to enable access of FTA channels to all consumers within 48 hours or else the Authority will take the necessary action.
“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,” CA warned.
However, Digital TVs have inbuilt decoders that can allow you to watch some channels when your subscription has expired on your decoder.