2012 is the target that has been set for the migration from analogue to digital broadcast technology. The steps to be taken towards this shift are detailed in the broadcasting policy approved by cabinet last week. Now the approval of the policy follows a deadline of 2015, set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), for all member-states to switch off all analogue signals. Rwanda wants to beat this target.
The Minister in the President’s Office in charge of ICT, Dr Ignace Gatare, during a press conference on Thursday detailed the components with regard to the broadcasting policy. These components include: infrastructure development, content production, policy and regulation and awareness campaigns. Gatare pointed out where the process has reached at the moment.
With regard to an institutional framework, this policy calls for the harmonization of institutions dealing with regulating infrastructure and content to be merged to form a single media regulator. According to Gatare, this merger will make the process of regulation easier and more transparent. There are still many challenges to deal with such as accessibility to television sets, awareness on what this move really entails as well as investment promotion-challenges that Gatare says have already been factored in.
Gatare however added that out of the four main components, there is one that is very challenging that will spill well past the target as it needs more time to be worked on.
Gatare adds that the development of content would be critical for the adoption and success of digitization. The objectives of this digitization process are to meet international standards and to modernise the media sector, now media practitioners are left to provide quality content but it’s all good news for the consumer since digitization translates to a better signal, quality, diversity of choice and best of all a lot of interactivity.