South Africa Govt. Publishes Policy Direction Digital Sound And Radio Broadcasting
South Africa's Communications Minister, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has issued the country's policy direction on digital sound and radio broadcasting with a call for the fast-tracking of licences for digital radio broadcasting services in South Africa.
In a Government Gazette of July 10th, South Africa's industry regulator - the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has been asked to prioritise the "establishment of a digital radio network and services" that can be introduced alongside existing analogue FM and AM services, that provide universal access to all, that fosters entrants of new service providers to drive competition and enables innovation, and that is above all of cost-value to South Africans.
The Minister also asked ICASA to look at, and ensure that it caters for - in the ensuing regulatory frameworks - provisions for the 3-tier structure of broadcasting in the country: public, commercial and community.
ICASA has also been tasked with finding innovative ways to ensure the availability and universality of digital radio receivers that are capable of running both the DAB and DRM digital audio broadcasting platforms, while taken care to avoid the negative lessons being learnt from the implementation of the ongoing Digital TV migration.
Industry experts noted that this publication of the policy directive is a natural progression for South Africa after it has successfully conducted digital radio trial runs in the past years.