The Communications Commission of Kenya may soon take back broadcasting frequencies from holders who are not using them, for redistribution to other players as demand continues to rise, especially for radio. This comes as a report by Deloitte criticised the ‘first-come first-served’ approach used to allocate frequencies saying it does not support effective use of the spectrum, as it did not take into account broadcasters’ business plans and audience demand.
The audit firm, in a Competition Study of the broadcasting industry in Kenya, recommended that the regulator ask holders of unused radio and television frequencies to hand back the unused spectrum immediately. There are 129 radio frequencies (30 percent) of the total spectrum allocation that are not currently on-air and 25 TV frequencies (23 per cent) not in use.
CCK has in the past issued a similar warning, but with no action taken so it remains to be seen if it will act decisively this time. “We will work to ensure that frequency assigned to every broadcaster is fully utilised for the benefit of the country,” said CCK acting Director General , Francis Wangusi in a speech during the release of the findings.
Notably, it is only the government-owned Kenya Broadcasting Corporation that is under-utilising its allocated radio spectrum. While it has been allocated 20 per cent spectrum, it only uses 10 per cent. The audit firm suggested that existing radio spectrum frequencies holders be requested to justify their proposed use of the frequency while renewing their licences by reference to business plans, market demand and share of viewers. There may be not much worry for the TV spectrum as they will have to hand back the analogue frequencies as the country migrates from analogue to digital by 2015.
(Source: The Star)