Regional broadcasters worried about switch to digital

Friday, September 02, 2011

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — The Barbados-based secretariat of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) is now earnestly making efforts to pull together a meeting of broadcasters, regulators and policy makers to establish an approach to how they will manage the huge costs that will be faced by broadcasters and consumers when the switch from analogue to digital broadcasting is mandated for the Caribbean in a few years.

Broadcasters from more than 10 Caribbean countries made an appeal for urgent and wide-ranging consultations on the impact that the switch over to digital will have on consumers, broadcasters and on media business in general.

They did so after expressing several concerns about the issue at the just-concluded Annual General Assembly of the CBU held in San Pedro, Belize.

Following on the keynote address at the opening session by Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow that much dialogue is quickly needed on this matter, the CBU has indicated that it was unlikely that governments would have the resources to help consumers buy hundreds of thousands of set top converter boxes.

They said broadcasters also have to face that they are also accepting that in present economic circumstances resources would certainly be unavailable to help broadcasters retrofit their operations and transmission networks. Hence the broadcasters said only genuine and far-reaching consultation and collaboration could chart a realistic path to achieving digital switch over in the next few years.


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