The Department of Communication (DOC) has been mulling as round the imminently approaching deadline for the Switch over to Digital transmission for far too long.
Finally we hear that there is some movement on the ground. Yesterday, Dina Pula announced on an educational roadshow in Northern Cape that the department is targeting the end of December 2013 for “Completion” of the roll out.
The Digital Migration is a complicated process no doubt, but the manner in which it has been handled by those trusted with its deployment is laughable. As Craig Wilson of Techcentral so eloquently put it “Communications minister Dina Pule has promised that digital terrestrial television will commence in SA in December and wants the migration process to completed in just 12 months. Will this be the latest in a long list of missed deadlines?”
Great consideration always has to be taken by the State to ensure that the ‘poor’ are looked after and government will subsidize 70% of the cost of the SetBox Top required to receive the signal. For the rest an estimated cost of R700.
I would say we are dreaming of a December 2012 roll out as planned, government dodgy procurement practices has come to light and it faces a day in court with ETV before any progress will take place. Even then a complete roll out in 12 months is damn near impossible.
Government is using this opportunity to grow skills and jobs in the manufacturing and technical arena. It envisions thousands of jobs to be created, which was primarily the reason for the delay. Did I mention the Post Office has been identified as the primary distributor at present?