ICASA publishes digital migration position paper
The position paper aims to provide clarity on the regulations to participants in the communications sector and address issues not covered in the Digital Migration Regulations. By Staff Writer.
The Position Paper on Digital Migration Regulations has been published in the Government Gazette by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).
The purpose of the position paper is to provide clarity on the regulations to participants in the communications sector and to specifically address matters that were not covered in the previously published Digital Migration Regulations.
The document explains the basis for ICASA’s decisions in relation to drafting regulations for the digital migration process as well as to describe the procedures and time frames that were followed.
The digital migration regulations are specifically aimed at creating a framework for the migration of existing analogue terrestrial TV services within the required time periods.
However, the regulations do not provide for the manner in which digital dividend will be utilised; these issues are to be considered following further public processes that ICASA will conduct.
Further regulations on the digital dividend will then be published by ICASA.
The position paper refers to the limitations in the broadcasting frequency plan requiring that the capacity of the two national Multiplexes have been reallocated in the following way:
• SABC will be allocated 85% of Multiplex 1.
• Remaining 15% of Multiplex 1 will be allocated to terrestrial television broadcasting service licensees providing community broadcasting services.
• Etv will be allocated 50% in Multiplex 2.
• M-Net will be allocated 40% in Multiplex 2.
• Remaining 10% in Multiplex 2, currently used by test/trial licensees will be equally shared between etv and M-Net when these licences expire.
The position paper also covers competition considerations, the period for dual illumination, digital incentive channels, muliplex 3 and roll-out targets. It also looks at digital signal distribution services and the appointment of providers, community and regional broadcasting services, radio frequency spectrum licensing, local content, language diversity, sound broadcasting services and the SKA.
The ICASA position paper was published in Gazette 36170 on 18 February 2013. - www.sabinetlaw.co.za