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CCK reduces digital signal tariffs

The communications regulator has moved to rein on the digital signal distribution market by reducing its tariffs.

In its review released on Tuesday evening, Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) brought down the fees that signal distributors would demand from media houses.

“The primary objective of reviewing Digital Signal Distribution (DSD) tariffs was to ensure the development of a cost-based tariff structure that would give signal distributors a reasonable return on their investments without levying unjustifiably high charges on content providers thereby constraining access to the digital platform to the detriment of the consumer,” read part of the report signed by the regulator’s director of consumer public affairs Mutua Muthusi.

The review report, Determination No. 1 of 2013 on Cost-Based Terrestrial Digital Broadcast Signal Distribution Tariff, shows that the signal providers will charge broadcasters maximum monthly fee of Sh125,990 per megabit for Nairobi and Sh93,202.75 per megabit for other parts of the country.

Before the review, the Pan-Africa Network Group (PANG) had proposed to charge broadcasters a monthly signal distribution fee of Sh1.13 million per channel in Nairobi.

SIGNET, owned by Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, had on the other hand proposed to charge Sh248, 141 per megabit for signal distribution services within Nairobi.

For other parts of the country, SIGNET had proposed to charge a uniform signal distribution fee of Sh248, 141.45 per megabit. PANG had proposed to charge monthly fee of between Sh126, 145.83 and Sh378, 437.50 depending on the location.

CCK has directed the two Signal providers to publish a reference offer three months in order to ensure that there is access, transparency and non-discrimination on the terrestrial signal distribution platform.

CCK says it adopted a consultative approach where the signal distributors were involved.

The move comes ahead of a court ruling on Monday which is expected to end protracted battle between Media Owners Association and the regulator on the issuance of rights to distributing the digital signal.