By Rebecca Wanjiku
Digital TV migration and the regulatory requirement of 60 percent local content is expected to increase demand for local hosting solutions, as businesses seek to reduce costs and beat competition.
Angani Limited, Kenya’s growing cloud services provider is expecting its business to grow, propped by migration from analogue to digital TV and the demand for faster and affordable digital services by media owners.
“Local content has recently experienced a shot of adrenaline because of the Digital TV migration. This has spurred great interest in producing and distributing local content, simply because, for the first time in a long while the barrier to entry for television broadcasting is very low,” said Phares Kariuki, Angani CEO.
The Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) has developed a roadmap aimed at increasing the local content aired on local channels from 36 percent currently to 60 percent in 2018. The Authority has partnered with Kenya Film Commission (KFC), which is responsible for development of the local film industry, and the Media Council of Kenya in order to help local investors take advantage of convergence technologies.
“Angani, seeing the opportunity to further reduce the costs of operation for the various television stations has now provided a platform that allows producers to distribute their content online/through regular digital TV/satellite or cable. This is opening up a world of possibility for producers whose only mandate now is production,” said Kariuki.
The agreement between CAK and KFC provides for collaborative policy interventions in addressing challenges faced by local content producers such as piracy and unhealthy competition from foreign film products; crafting of the minimum quality standards for local programmes and partner in forums to promote increased production of local content.
“Mutually beneficial partnerships such as what these we have signed today, will tap into each organizations strength and this will go a long way in facilitating the growth of the broadcasting sector,” said Francis Wangusi, CAK Director General.
The CAK is also working with the ICT sector to identify solutions that will make transition to more digital content less expensive, efficient and provide job opportunities.
The growth at the Kenya Internet Exchange Point has given content carriers, hosting providers, ISPs and other infrastructure providers to lower operational costs by peering locally.
“KIXP has provided the platform that allows for Angani to exist; by ensuring local peering, we ensure that it’s cost effective for ISPs to use the exchange as it saves them international transit. Our offering then becomes compelling for both users and ISPs as it offers lower latency links whilst saving the ISPs money, hence increasing the number of peers and the amount of traffic being exchanged at the KIXP,” added Kariuki.
One of the challenges is getting ISPs to open up local infrastructure, especially for clients backing up multi media content on Angani cloud. Providers that allow free local infrastructure connections have been attracting more customers, which means more players will soon open up free local loop connectivity.