ICT Principal Secretary Joseph Tiampati (left), ICT Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i (centre) and CA’s Director, Consumer and Public Affairs, Mutua Muthusi address the press on the impending analogue switch off.

Analogue signals for Nairobi and its environs will be switched off tonight at 2359hrs as as per the phased timetable. This is contrary to media reports purporting that the Supreme Court had stopped the process.

Addressing the media today, ICT Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, said that all media houses must switch off their analogue signals tonight per the timelines recently gazetted by the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology.  He reiterated that the timetable will remain as earlier planned.

The Director, Consumer and Public Affairs at the Communications Authority of Kenya, Mutua Muthusi said the Authority had already issued the regulatory notices to all analogue television broadcasters to this effect. Media houses are expected to fully comply with the notice.

In a statement read on behalf of the Director General at a press briefing on the switch off plans, Mr. Muthusi said the Supreme Court, in its direction, did not stop the switch off.  The orders of the court were issued following an application by three media houses, Nation Media Group, Standard Media Group and Royal Media Services seeking interim orders to suspend the analogue switch off and restrain the Authority from among other things,  cancelling their analogue broadcasting licences .  The three media houses also sought to be allowed to continue analogue broadcasting while they put in place infrastructure necessary to migrate to digital broadcasting.

The Supreme Court remained silent on some of the requests in the application.  On this basis, the CA will proceed with regulatory notices as communicated to the analogue television broadcasters. Mr. Muthusi however clarified that no broadcasting licences of any analogue broadcasting service provider shall be cancelled by the Authority.

The analogue switch off for Nairobi tonight affects Citizen TV Channel 34 and 39, KTN. Channel 59, KBC Channel 23, K24 Channel 26, NTV Channel 42, QTV Channel 12, Family TV Channel 9,  EATV Channel 62, Kiss TV Channel 55 and GBS Channel 47.

Mr. Muthusi also noted that intense sensitization campaigns on the process have resulted in an increased demand for set top boxes from consumers in Nairobi, a positive indicator of readiness of the consumers to migrate to digital broadcasting.

The phased switch off which begins with Nairobi and its environs today will see other areas in Kenya switched off by 30th March 2015, ahead of the global deadline of June 17th, 2015.

Read the full statement here