South Africa switchover faces delay
The switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting could be delayed by at least a few months, Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda has confirmed, as the technical standards to be used in the manufacture of STBs were under review.
A possible policy reversal midway into the digital migration process was decried by opposition parties as costly, unnecessary and in possible contravention of SA's international agreements. It could also result in further delays in the process, which was already running behind schedule.
In written submissions, television broadcasters M-Net and e.tv expressed their concern at the possibility of a change in the standard, which they believed was not justified on technical or any other grounds. The SABC was concerned that delays in the digital migration process would threaten its long-term sustainability in an increasingly competitive industry.
Independent Communications Authority of SA CEO Paris Mashile told Parliament's communications committee it could take up to six months to issue new digital migration regulations if the standard for set-top boxes was changed.