The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) plans to tighten regulatory oversight on online media content providers to address copyright and taxation issues.
In a notice, CA said it is scouting for a consultant to assess the extent of popularity and the impact that online media content providers (also known as over-the-top (OTT) media service providers) have in the country.
An over-the-top (OTT) media service is a service offered directly to viewers via the Internet. Some of the over OTTs that are popular in Kenya include Facebook, Netflix, WhatsApp, Zoom, and YouTube among others. OTTs bypass cable, broadcast, and satellite television platforms; the types of companies that traditionally act as controllers or distributors of such content.
“The consultant will be expected to make appropriate recommendations on the basis of the study findings, on the best regulatory approaches that may be employed to address the coexistence of OTTs … with traditional services, and possible implications of the proposed regulatory approaches,” said CA in a notice.
CA said the consultant will be expected to identify regulatory requirements prescribed for traditional services that should be prescribed for OTTs.
Governments across the globe are implementing laws aimed at regulating online content providers. However, many African countries still lag. A few like Kenya are trying to catch up.