After the turmoil caused towards mid-2010 when South Africa’s Department of Communications (DoC) announced that it was reconsidering the national digital broadcasting standard, Minister of Communications Roy Padayachie will reportedly announce later this month that DVB-T2 is to be officially adopted as South Africa’s digital broadcast standard.
TechCentral reported that Kuben Govender, an adviser to Padayachie, confirmed that cabinet ratified the decision on 15 December 2010 and that the minutes reflect it.
Strangely, no mention was made in the cabinet statement about the decision.
Last year the DoC confused and infuriated South Africa’s broadcasting industry by reviewing South Africa’s chosen standard.
Many industry players expressed concern over the decision as it conflicted with policy, regulations and standards that had been developed over many years for the Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial (DVB-T) standard.
Siphiwe Nyanda, the Minister at the helm of the DoC during this time, stated that the review was brought on by the Southern African Development Community (SADC). He said that South Africa would have closure on the issue by the end of 2010 since SADC was expected to make their recommendations by mid-November 2010.
Towards the end of November 2010, SADC announced its support of DVB-T2 and South Africa was expected to soon follow suit.
After replacing Nyanda, Padayachie said that the department would’ve announced which standard South Africa was to adopt by mid-December.
As per usual, nothing was forthcoming from the DoC.
Repeated attempts to ascertain which standard the department would officially back – or at least by when they would tell broadcasters whether to proceed with their DVB-T deployments – yielded inconclusive answers or silence from the DoC.
Kuben Govender, who has reportedly confirmed that South Africa is to adopt DVB-T2 rather than the older DVB-T standard, promised to provide feedback on the matter but – as has become the norm for the DoC – never returned MyBroadband’s calls.
It’s not clear at this stage whether broadcasters will be allowed to roll-out DVB-T systems under the current regulations or whether they’ll have to wait until new policies and regulations are developed for DVB-T2.
It is also not clear how much of a delay writing new policies and regulations for DVB-T2 will cause, but it’s understood that most of the work done on DVB-T translates to DVB-T2.
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