October 25th 2019                             

By Cheruiyot Korir

The Government in conjunction with the Spanish Government has constructed 10 Digital TV transmission sites in the country to improve digital broadcasting, Principal Secretary for ICT Jerome Ochieng has said.

Mr Ochieng said, the transmission sites that include; Lamu, Kwale, Kilifi, Nyahururu, Maralal, Wajir, Webuye, Siaya, Hola and Kitui will increase quality of digital broadcast signal for radio and Television

The digital broadcasting will be beneficial to viewers and audience because the platform has  “the capability of providing new features and services, such as, high definition television (HDTV) programmes, interactive services and mobile reception, wide-screen pictures, surround sound, multiple viewing angles, multi channelling, closed-captioning, and electronic programme guides”, Mr Ochieng said.

Mr Ochieng said the need to improve signal quality and distribution is in line with the Constitution of Kenya that provides for the right of the public to have access to information.

This, he noted, obligates the government to ensure that all citizens have access to information they require for their social-economic well being.

Speaking at the launch of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation Transmission site at Wasyala in Kitui County yesterday, the Principal Secretary said, following the implementation of the digital migration and liberalisation the country has witnessed the rise of 60 licenced TV and 139 radio stations which have created employment opportunities.

Mr Ochieng noted that, despite the digital Migration, Statistics from the Communications Authority of Kenya for the quarter ending December 2017 show that the digital broadcasting signal currently covers 83.6 per cent of the Kenyan population. This, he said, would be improved by the current efforts to construct digital transmission sites across the country.

The Principal Secretary said, the objective of the government in implementing the digital migration was to use it as  a vehicle to deliver improved audio-visual quality and diversity of content to consumers, and provide for the  efficient utilization of  spectrum space.

He said some of the digital dividend of digital migration is the freeing up of spectrum used to support new mobile services, including 4G, bringing significant benefits to Kenyan citizens.

He observed that the policy objective for developing digital transmission sites was to create an environment that enabled broadcasters to provide in the public interest, and to contribute equitably to the socio-economic and cultural development