Analog to digital switchover plan approved by Cabinet

Cabinet Secretary. Dr. Roger Luncheon.
Cabinet Secretary: Dr. Roger Luncheon
Cabinet Secretary: Dr. Roger Luncheon

[] – Cabinet has approved the final draft of the road map that outlines the process of transition from analog to digital television broadcast, according to Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon.

In understanding the necessity of the switchover, the Government had approached the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) seeking sponsorship of a consultant to draft the said road map of Guyana’s transition.

The consultant, Dr. Andres Navarro subsequently arrived in the country and held engagements with stakeholders including officials from the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU).

The recommendations of the committee that was established to review the work of the consultant were also endorsed by the Cabinet.

“Armed now with a road map and with the body that had been established to oversee the implementation of the road map, the Government is now assuming the responsibility of the transition of analog TV broadcast to digital,” the HPS said.

Guyana’s transition process is set to commence in 2016 and will be completed in 2020. The time frame is a matter of great importance, not only because of Guyana’s need to join the worldwide technological revolution, but also because of similar transition processes that will be undertaken by neighbouring countries (Suriname, Brazil and Venezuela).

The Government will now be moving to hold stakeholder engagements to discuss the main issues of the Cabinet-approved road map such as the time frame, technology, market (procuring of digital television) and the regulatory framework governing digital television broadcast.

Digital terrestrial television offers many advantages such as better quality signal and affords tremendous benefits in terms of spectrum usage. When television broadcasters switch from analog platforms to digital only platforms, part of the electromagnetic spectrum that has been used for broadcasting will be freed up because digital television needs fewer spectrums than analog television.

This worldwide transition releases valuable spectrum which can be used to provide mobile broadband services among others. The release spectrum is referred to as the digital dividend. The location and size of digital dividend vary among countries due to the factors including geographical position and penetration of satellite/cable services.

The switchover for individual countries varies; in some countries it is being implemented in stages as in India and the United Kingdom, where each region has a separate date to switch off. In others, the whole country switches on one date, such as the Netherlands, which switched off all analog services in December 2006. [Extracted and modified from GINA]




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