Digital TV hearings now needed – Icasa
The communications industry regulator has decided to hold public hearings on the draft digital terrestrial television regulations despite saying earlier the process was too urgent to allow for them.
The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) will hold public hearings concerning the revised set of draft digital terrestrial television regulations it released last month for public comment.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Icasa says it’s decided to hold public hearings in the “interest of the promotion of administrative justice and also taking into consideration the submissions received”.
The authority explains there are two main changes to the regulations on which it would “particularly like” to hear the views of the public.
It is proposing to use the second mobile digital terrestrial television multiplex as a third digital TV multiplex during the dual-illumination period — when analogue and digital broadcasts will coexist — to accommodate new entrants to the broadcasting industry and to stimulate the uptake of digital services, fostering content and enhancing consumer choice.
This, Icasa explains, is in response to the amended broadcasting digital migration policy of 17 February 2012, in which communications minister Dina Pule directed it to “explore how best to introduce new services and licensees” while ensuring the digital migration process gives priority to incumbent broadcasters.
Secondly, the authority is also proposing the formation of a Digital Television Content Advisory Group “to advise on the most effective ways to ensure the supply of digital television content to encourage consumers to acquire set-top boxes in order to begin viewing digital television services”.
Icasa says it has received 20 submissions from interested parties on the draft regulations, 17 of which have indicated a desire to make oral representations.
The public hearings will be held at Icasa’s offices in Sandton between Tuesday and Thursday next week, 21 to 23 August. — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media
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