THE ICT IN KENYA
WORK IN PROGRESS IN ICT IN KENYA
With the new government in place, dubbed the Digital Government, tremendous steps have taken place in the Information Communication Technology (ICT). Chief among them are the Primary School laptop Initiative, The digital migration, The Silicon Valley project and the onset of the Fibre optics network in the country.
The Digital Migration
This project was first instituted in July 2013. It was heralded by the Digital Television Committee and was tasked with the annunciation of the Analogue Switch Off. For Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret, Nakuru, Kisumu , Nyeri and Meru the switch off was scheduled on 23rd Dec 2013, while for other regions it was slated for 30th June 2014.
The intricate process was meant to be done with the least interruption to the citizens as possible while still providing the required quality.
The objectives to be met in the project were detailed as follows:
- Provision of Set-top Boxes
These are simply devices that facilitate the decoding of encrypted broadband signals into conceivable form. Thus their description as decoders is fully warranted. Different service providers already existed in the industry with mainly the pay- to- view decoders. However the government’s initiative is to ensure provision of high quality, affordable digital set boxes regardless if they are free-to – view or pay-to – view. The plain difference between the two is the coverage content, with the latter having both international and local channels, but the former has mainly the local channels. Its upon the ICT ministry to safeguard the public from being taken advantage of by gullible investors.
- Sensitization Of the Citizens
Its imperative that the government sensitize the greater public the importance and the many gains that come with the migration. These advantages have to outweigh the initial and consequent cash outlays that come with the migration. Some of the benefits include clarity in view reception, increased marketing and broadcasting, and more content will be available for the viewers.
- Convincing Relevant Stakeholders
These are mainly the service providers and the firms responsible for provision of these tasks. These are the stakeholders that aid in the provision of channel viewership and airing of television programs. They ought to feel welcome and assured of the security of their investments. The government should go out of its way to make life good for them, for example by offering tax incentives and subsidies.
- Emphasis of Migration Dates
The general public ought to be given constant reminders as to when and how the migration will take place. This is to prevent panic and pandemonium when the curtains come down on the analogue age.
The Fibre Optic Project
Kenya has already been connected with the global fibre optic cable, the connection is via the Kenyan Coast. On the country it is conveyed mainly underground, however the ICT Ministry is teaming up with electrical transmission and distribution companies to ensure utilization of already existing infrastructure (power pylons).
It’s a win- win situation for both companies as the Ketracco will use the cables for grounding purposes and the ICT department will benefit with the already existing infrastructure (pylons).
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