A mere 25 percent of TV-owners in Tanzania’s capital Dar es Salaam can access digital TV broadcasting signals after the country became the first in East Africa to switch off analogue TV signals.
“We have useless boxes in our living rooms and cannot access any TV station for lack of decoders,” George Kaniki of Mbezi Louis Company, Dar es Salaam, told The Daily Nation.
The switch-off has left many “Tanzanians angry”, as they had expected the government to keep its word, after it promised to ensure “a smooth transition to the digital platform without inconveniencing anyone”.
Some critics however argue that the government is not totally to blame, as it has been vocal in urging its citizens to purchase the digital set-top boxes.
The nation’s communications regulatory authority Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) officially launched public awareness on Digital TV back in August 2011,when President Jakaya Kikwete inaugurated the Digital Tanzania Campaign to ensure that the citizens had enough time to acquire the gadgets.
TCRA has promised to continue with the plans to switch off analogue signal in other parts of the country as it had earlier stated, with an internal deadline of April 2013 by which all regions should have migrated to the digital platform.
Tanzania’s government further ensured that the decoders went as low as TSh39,000 (US$25).