MINISTER with responsibility for Information, Senator Sandrea Falconer, says she intends to seek Cabinet approval for 2015 to be the transition year to digital switchover.
Speaking at a meeting of the National Digital Switchover Committee yesterday at Jamaica House, Falconer explained that the digital switchover (DSO) study will review Jamaica’s readiness and carrying capacity for the switchover.
It will also examine public policy considerations; a substantive economic analysis of the market with projections for the future of the digital market; and the consumer take-up of the different platforms and willingness to pay for services.
“Attention will also be given to the matter of the potential impact of analogue ‘switch off’; the estimation of the value of the released spectrum; cost benefit analysis of the digital switchover process; cost points and options for funding; and importantly, technology selection, access and usability by persons with disabilities or other vulnerable groups, and environmental considerations,” she said.
The government has also applied to the International Telecommunications Union for funding to establish a DSO project unit. Falconer said Jamaica’s digital switchover is not just a mere transition but Jamaicans must be prepared for the audio-visual, social and economic benefits.
“Our engagement must therefore be focused around getting public input and ensuring Jamaicans will anticipate and take full advantage of the broad and enriched media experience that digital transmission brings. This must be characterised of course by high technical quality; new features delivered through utilisation of multimedia applications; and high levels of interactivity in step with the Jamaican culture, demand and vision” Falconer said.