Cabinet has approved the Broadcasting Digital Migration Amendment Policy, with the inclusion of a control system in the set-top boxes (STB) that will replace analogue signals in the country. They've set aside R3 billion for the STB roll out and the delayed digital migration ‘switch-on’ is due for June this year.
CEO of SA Communications Forum Loren Braithwaite-Kabosha, spoke to John Robbie about what the digital transition may mean for South Africans.
1. Access to the ‘digital dividend’ and better broadband
Braithwaite-Kabosha says that once the digital change-over is complete, the country will have improved broadband access.
The reason why we're migrating is so that we'll have access to important spectrums known as the digital dividend, to boost internet access and penetration in South Africa.
2. Free set-top boxes for 5 million of SA’s poorest households
When the analogue switch-off deadline is announced, all households will need to buy a STB to access free-to-air television. Government will help facilitate the transition by providing the country's poorest 5 million households (translating to 20 million citizens) with free STB's.
3. Premium free-to-air televeison content
According to Braithwaite-Kabosha the access control systems in the STB's will allow broadcasters access to premium television content such as sporting events and international films.
4. Job creation in the electronic manufacturing industry
Braithwaite-Kabosha adds that the STB's may create a big boost in the electronic manufacturing industry of South Africa. The regulation for access control systems could result in higher compliance of standards and job creation.
It is expected that at least 23 00 new jobs will be created because of the inclusion of the control system.
Listen to the full conversation with John Robbie below: