South Africa updates Broadcasting Digital Migration Policy

Thursday, March 19th, 2015
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South Africa’s Department of Communications (DoC) has gazetted the Amendment of the Broadcasting Digital Migration Policy issued under Government Gazette No 31408 on 8 September 2008.


“The switch-on and switch-off date of the digital and analogue broadcasting digital terrestrial television signals will respectively be determined by the Minister of Communications in consultation with Cabinet.

The national broadcasting terrestrial television digital signal coverage shall aim to cover 84 percent of the total South African population. Areas that may be deemed difficult or uneconomical to reach will be covered by free-to-air DTH satellite using the DVB-S2 technology.

The total TV-owning households in South Africa are estimated at 13 million, of which approximately 65 per cent rely exclusively on free-to-air broadcasting services.

[Set-top boxes will] have a control system to prevent government subsidised free-to-air DTT STBs from functioning in non-South African DTT networks.

In keeping with the objectives of ensuring universal access to broadcasting services in South Africa and protecting government investment in subsidised STB market, STB control system in the free-to-air DTT will be non-mandatory.

The STB control system for the free-to-air DTT STBs shall –
(a) not have capabilities to encrypt broadcast signals for the subsidised STBs; and
(b) be used to protect government investment in subsidised STB market thus supporting the local electronic manufacturing sector.

Depending on the kind of broadcasting services broadcasters may want to provide to their customers, individual broadcasters may at their own cost make decisions regarding encryption of content.

The South African Bureau of Standards will develop a conformance testing regime to ensure that STBs conform to the South African Standards for the South African DTT electronic communications network.”