Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) move to switch off analogue transmission signals in the country has contravened the right of public to get access to information, according to the Tanzania Citizens’ Information Bureau (TCIB).
Briefing journalists in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, TCIB Executive Director Deus Kibamba stated that it has established in a survey that the number of people who used to watch television has dropped from 70 per cent to 5 per cent since the migration to digital technology in the country.
He said the transition has denied access to many citizens who used to have analogue television sets and cannot afford decoders.
“We find the government move unreasonable and expensive to consumers. Most people do not have surplus funds to purchase the required converter boxes to shift to digital television frequency signals,” noted Kibamba.
Kibamba said TCRA should have ensured that citizens have the time and help needed to make the change without putting heavy a heavy financial burden on them. He underlined that the monthly fee for watching TV channels cannot be afforded by most people and the quality of service provided is still not good.
Kibamba called on TCRA to stop switching off analogue in other regions until they are full prepared.
Responding TCRA Communication Manager Innocent Mungy said the Authority made enough preparations before switching off analogue broadcasting.
“We cannot stop our plans to switch to digital broadcasting because we have done enough preparations since 2009 and media stakeholders were involved…we switch off analogue broadcasting in areas where we have already installed digital transmitters,” he said.
He noted that before migrating to digital only 24 percent of people had access to television.