CA slashes signal distribution fees to improve quality
‘High costs have forced more than 50 FTA broadcasters to stay inactive since digital migration’
The Communications Authority has slashed the fees digital signal distributors charge media owners to broadcast television content.
Director general Francis Wangusi said broadcasters should pay Sh89,545 per megabit of signal distributed within Nairobi and its environs from December, which is down 29 per cent from the current Sh125,990.
He said the cost of distributing digital signals in other major towns will come down by 60 per cent to Sh37,311 from the previous Sh93,202.
In remote areas, charges will be Sh32,961 per megabit.
“The previous charges have been restrictive and we hope the lower charges will help broadcasters improve the quality of signal to the viewers,” he said in Nairobi yesterday.
In 2013 the CA introduced a fee of Sh125,990 per megabit for Nairobi and its environs, and Sh93,202.75 for other areas.
This was from the previous Sh1.13 million charged per channel and Sh248,141 per megabit for signal distribution services.
Wangusi said the high costs have forced more than 50 free-to-air broadcasters to stay inactive since the shift to digital television in December 2014.
“The reduction of the monthly fees is a big win for new broadcasters on the digital platform, who have previously complained about expensive distribution costs charged by Pan Africa Network Group and Signet,” he said. The review follows a cost modeling study undertaken by Analysys Mason, a UK consultancy firm, which was contracted in 201516.
Wangusi said the objective of the study was to review the existing broadcast signal distribution charging framework in Kenya, taking into account the prevailing market developments and provide a comparative analysis of the current situation with international best practices.
“The cost-modelling aims to ensure a review in tariffs would give signal distributors a reasonable return on their investment without levying unjustifiably high charges to broadcasters,” he said.
Communication Authority director multimedia service Leo Boreutt with director general Francis Wangusi in Nairobi yesterday