SADC communications regulators have met up in Zimbabwe to deliberate on issues surrounding the launch of a regional bouquet.
Addressing delegates at a two day Communications Regulators Association of Southern Africa (CRASA) Electronic Communication Committee (ECC) meeting which was officially opened today, the Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe Director General Dr Gift Machengete noted that SADC member states are at various stages enacting Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
While Zimbabwe is yet to digitise, DTT is a reliable and much cost efficient means to distribute linear television content and has many advantages over the old, analogue broadcasting that is still in use today.
“Let me point out that SADC Member States are at various stages of implementing Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting. Broadcasting brings people together allowing the sharing of experiences and in the process cultural exchange,” he said.
“Conclusion of the relevant frameworks including technical aspects for the envisaged SADC Bouquet is, therefore a prerequisite for the achievement of a fully harmonised SADC with a common future,” he said.
Dr Machengete added, “EEC has achieved quite a lot for both the ICT and broadcasting sub-sectors, IM therefore convinced that a lot will be achieved during this session.”
The SADC Member States are in the country deliberating on the future of ICTs in the region.
“Our remit and indeed objective for the next two days is to discuss, negotiate, share experience, provide guidance, devise strategies and on a number of issues where deliberations have matured -agree on decisions that will shape the future of ICTs in our beloved SADC Region.
“I have no doubt ladies and gentlemen that through this forum we shall all endeavour to strengthen the region’s CT sector in the priority areas of Digital Migration, Regional Content Development, Universal Access, Harmonised Spectrum Management and Digital Sound Broadcasting,” said the Potraz boss.
“We have tried to make sure that each country has a national IXP where the information destined within the country does not go out of the country and then each region has the regional IXP.
“…So that whatever information that is destined within the region does not go out because initially what happened is the information would go back to Europe and come back to us and we are being charged both ways.
“So we have been trying to assist the countries to have their national Exchange points and then within the region have their regional exchange points so that whatever is destined locally within the nation does not go out, within the region does not go out. Only Only what goes out does not come back,” she said.
The meeting was attended by CRASA Delegates, Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe officials as well as ITU and Potraz.
Digital migration refers to the switch from an analogue broadcasting system to a digital broadcasting system and this has been a world-wide move which is being driven by the ITU.