COFEK queries CCK ruling to block FTA channels

Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) has issued an ultimatum to Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) to clarify a recent regulation wherein CCK has asked pay-TV companies to switch off local channels for viewers who have defaulted in remitting their monthly fees.

COFEK argued that CCK, in a meeting held in July 2013, had reassured viewers that the local channels would not be switched off. Currently, subscribers who fail to pay their monthly fees lose access to pay channels immediately, but continue viewing the six to seven mandatory FTA local channels for a period of two weeks before they are blacked out.

COFEK, citing Article 35 of the constitution on right to information, has issued a 14-day ultimatum to the CCK to publicly clarify the regulation or face legal suit in the third week of this month. CCK’s director for consumer and public affairs, Mutua Muthusi, however said the new regulations applies to pay-TV subscribers and that those with FTA set top boxes will continue accessing the FTA channels without further charges.