The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) issued its draft digital terrestrial television (DTT) regulations on Friday (13 July 2012), in which it spelled out coverage targets for the SABC’s digital TV signal.
Should the draft regulations be accepted as they stand, state signal distributor Sentech would have to cover 74% of South Africa’s population within 6 months after DTT services are officially switched on.
By the time old analogue broadcasts are switched off, 95% of South Africa’s population would need to be covered.
Earlier in the year Sentech and the Department of Communications (DoC) announced that 60% population coverage had been achieved to date.
The switch-on date for DTT in South Africa isn’t firm yet, with Minister of Communications Dina Pule only saying that they’re aiming for a Q3 2012 switch-on. The DoC later issued a press statement saying that the target switch-on date was “around September”.
South Africa’s analogue switch-off date is up in the air after the previous digital broadcasting start date of April 2012 was missed.
Pule previously confirmed that the former switch-off date of December 2013 would have to be delayed, but didn’t specify a new deadline.