Pretoria-The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies on adopting a two-phased approach to finally completing the switch-off of analogue television services. It is an approach that will ensure that the viewing public continues to have access to television programming while also ensuring increased access to mobile broadband services.
ICASA also supports the first phase announced by the Minister, which sets 31 July 2023 as the date for migrating any analogue television broadcasting services still operating in frequency bands above 694 MHz, to channels below 694 MHz on a temporary basis.
“The Minister’s announcement aligns South Africa’s plans to migrate to digital terrestrial television in accordance with international and regional agreements, and with global best practice. Further, it will facilitate the allocation of the ‘Digital Dividend’ to broadband services”, says ICASA Acting Chairperson, Yolisa Kedama.
The announcement also realises the promise made in the SA Connect Policy that “the efficient assignment and subsequent use of high demand spectrum to meet broadband demand is vital and the cost of not releasing the spectrum timeously is high”.
“There is no doubt that it is essential for South Africa to complete the long-overdue migration to richer content and greater quality of digital television, and for the analogue switch-off to take place as soon as possible. The Authority welcomes the announcement and is looking forward to the project proceeding without further delays, to the benefit and aspirations of all South Africans,” concludes Acting Chairperson Kedama.
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