State Agency Orders Pay TV Firms to Unblock Free to Air Channels

April 1, 2020

The Government has directed pay television providers to unblock access to free to air channels on their decoders.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), in a letter dated March 30, said the directive arose from complaints by consumers. The agency gave an example of GOTV set-top boxes which have been barred from receiving FTA channels transmitted from PANG, Signet, Bamba and ADN.

CA Director-general Mercy Wanjau said consumers alleged that some Pay TV service providers have configured their DTT platforms to bar their set-top boxes from receiving free to air TV signal from other platforms.

“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 letter reads in part.

Ms Wanjau reiterated that barring reception of FTA broadcasting signals is a violation of licence conditions and the law.

“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,” the letter concluded.

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