Hundreds of community members in Boshof, west of Bloemfontein in the Free State, braved the cold weather this week to attend the broadcasting digital migration information session that was held in the area.
Among many community members, who were in attendance, were television viewing households members, who are currently on pay TV platforms, but still met the requirements for government’s subsidised set-top- boxes (STBs).
Thabo Mofokeng is one of the many, who subscribed to one of the pay television platforms, but has since fallen back on the monthly instalments. The high cost of living has constantly put us on the back foot. Subscribing for pay television is a luxury that I cannot afford. I am here to find out if I will be able to qualify for government subsidised decoders,” said Mofokeng.
The broadcasting digital migration policy states that any South African household with a combined income of R3 200 or less qualify for a 100% subsidised set-top-box or decoder. Government has made significant progress in registering indigent households to receive free set-top-boxes for digital terrestrial television.
Broadcasting Digital Migration officials from the Department of Communications are currently visiting municipalities in the district Lejweleputswa in the Free State to drive the public awareness and encourage registration for the STBs.
Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has since moved to set up a meeting of key stakeholders in the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) migration process consisting of broadcasters and mobile operators. The move is aimed at accelerating the implementation of the project.
I have full appreciation of the impact that the Digital Migration project is set to have in the economy of this country. The primary aim of digital migration is to release valuable spectrum which will be used to provide new services such as wireless and other broadband services.
Furthermore, moving from analogue to digital will allow the digital dividend spectrum to be released to enable the development of more television and other services for consumers. Digital terrestrial television signals are also expected to reach people who live in areas that cannot currently receive them because of spectrum limitations,” said Minister Dlodlo.
In 2014, the Department of Communications commissioned a study on the use of the 2nd Digital Dividend � the spectrum in the 700 MHz Band that will become available for alternative uses � following the analogue-to-digital television switch-over. The report found that the overall value of 700MHz spectrum would be in the region of R3.5 billion, over the 2015-2026 period.
Minister Dlodlo has in various platforms reiterated her commitment to see all South Africans migrating from analogue to digital television within the prescribed period.
Source: South African Government News Agency