Free satellite TV licensing concerns

Platco Digital managing director Maxwell Nonge has told MyBroadband that the company does not expect any regulatory problems for its subscription-free satellite TV service, OpenView HD.

They are still awaiting feedback from the regulator; “ICASA is still following its processes,” Nonge said.

There has been some concern that Platco does not have the necessary licenses to broadcast in South Africa, which the E-tv sister company has argued it doesn’t need.

Nonge has said that E-tv also has all the licenses they need to offer just about any kind of telecommunications service in South Africa, from broadband to broadcasting.

He said that Platco has received approval from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to uplink to the satellite they will be using in SES’s Astra 5°E system. This is the same satellite as TopTV uses.

Platco is still waiting on approval for the channels it plans broadcast, Nonge said, but added that they don’t anticipate any issues. OpenView HD’s line-up conforms to Icasa’s requirements, he said.

Asked what the implications are for OpenView HD when it says it will only provide carriage for already-licensed broadcasters, Nonge explained that you would need a free-to-air license to broadcast your channels on OpenView.

In South Africa, this limits the broadcasters they can offer services to to SABC, E-tv, and possibly community broadcasters, Nonge said.

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Free satellite TV licensing concerns