Communications Predicts Possible Digital Migration Delay

Department of Communications

The department of communications has expressed concerns about a possible delay in the digital migration implementation process following a meeting this week with the SABC and free-to-air broadcasters.

The meeting which centred on finding ways to deliver set-top-boxes to the market follows the South Gauteng high court decision to grant broadcasters the right to control conditional access in state-subsidised set-top boxes (decoders), subject to ICASA's authority.

The department states that the implementation of digital migration could be delayed by up to three years if the process is not managed effectively by the stakeholders.

This would mean that South Africa would miss the International Telecommunication Union’s June 2015 deadline for implementing digital migration.

The parties agreed on a speedy implementation of the programme and are considering various proposals including finalising the set-top-box manufacturing tender process which is affected by the high court decision.

The parties also discussed potential job creation opportunities.

Broadcasters agreed to make their independent recommendations to the communications department by 28 January 2013.

Sabinet Cape Town Office