Fiji reveals plans for digital transition

Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has announced the creation of a National Digital Television Platform to assist the country in its migration from analogue to digital TV. Details were revealed by the PM in a speech celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of the FBC (Fiji Broadcasting Corporation).

“The digital platform will offer consumers better reception, more channels, and access to High Definition and pay per view programming,” explained Bainimarama. “The new platform will initially extend the coverage of all broadcast channels to 94 per cent of the population, marking a drastic improvement over the current levels of coverage.

“Also, digital television will work on current television sets and no satellite dish is required. All that is needed is a low cost set top box, which will give you greater control over programming, including the ability to choose what channels are available in your households if you have children.”

Fiji’s Department of Communications will oversee the creation of this government-owned national platform. Once complete, the platform will be handed over to FBC to manage and FBC will form a new transmission company for this purpose. Broadcasters will then lease one or multiple digital channels for fixed annual fees. The system will be completely transparent and the cost to lease channels will be the same for all broadcasters, including FBC. The fixed fees will replace the need for ongoing investment in new equipment and infrastructure, as well as costs for repair and maintenance.

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