Broadcasting Commission to Host Digital Switchover Seminar


The Broadcasting Commission will convene a two-day National Policy Seminar and Technical Workshop on digital switchover from March 3 to 4, for key stakeholders in the media sector.
Minister of Information, Youth, Sports, and Culture Olivia Grange will officially open the event at 9:00 a.m. at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston on March 3.
Chairman of the Broadcasting Commission, Dr. Hopeton Dunn told JIS News that the workshop would cover a range of key principles drawn from international experiences, with the main output being a draft national plan to form the basis of a public policy paper, to be discussed in future national consultations.
“The work that we [the Commission] are doing in this particular respect is being carried out under our remit to advise the government and to inform the public on the formulation and application of policies that affect the electronic media,” he pointed out.
“This is a particularly important role, as media are changing rapidly and the convergence and the transitions that are taking place in the industry are complex and require international as well as local consultation,” Dr. Dunn added.
He said that some crucial decisions would have to be made in the weeks and months ahead in relation to many of the approaches that Jamaica would take, in particular the switchover to digital.
“The country will have to decide what technical standards will be used in Jamaica, when we enter into switchover. There are different technical standards related to the geographical regions of the world. It may well be that our technical choice has to do with our geographical location, but it is something that needs to be discussed and something that we need to arrive at for a national consensus,” he argued.
The main presenter at the seminar and workshop will be one of the global leaders in strategic planning for digital switchover, Michael Starks, who has led as a consultant on the British Government’s effort and planning towards their digital switchover.
He has also been active in advising institutions like the BBC and others around the world in respect of the transition process from analog to digital. Mr. Starks is currently an associate of Oxford University’s Programme in Comparative Media Law.
“We feel that he is an appropriate person to assist us in the dialogue and in the international explorations, as Jamaica seeks to effect its own digital switchover,” the Chairman noted.
The digitization seminar and technical switchover workshop will involve the participation of executives and technical staff of all broadcast media houses and cable television companies in Jamaica.Participants will also be drawn from the satellite sector, telecommunication providers, radio and television manufacturers, equipment importers, appliance retailers, senior policy makers and fellow regulators as well as consumer groups.
With the inclusion of relevant stakeholders, the Chairman said that the Commission would seek to arrive at a broad national consensus on the issue. The workshop will be open to members of the public and those who are interested may contact the Broadcasting Commission Secretariat at 929-1998 or via email at info@broadcom.org. Persons may also visit their website at www.broadcom.org.
“The digital switchover is something that will affect a wide range of Jamaicans in the course of their day-to-day lives and certainly most sectors of the industry,” Dr. Dunn pointed out.The Broadcasting Commission is a statutory body established by the Broadcasting and Radio Re-Diffusion Amendment Act of 1986.

JIS Social