[30 August 2014] The Promotion of Diversity and Competition on Digital Terrestrial Television Regulations, 2014 came into force on publication in the Government Gazette on 22 August 2014.

Promotion of Diversity and Competition on DTT Regulations 2014

The Regulations are intended to promote diversity and competition in digital TV and set out how spectrum will be allocated to broadcasters and digital channels authorised.

Of more general interest for spectrum management:

  • ICASA has included a “use-it-or-lose-it”clause -if spectrum assigned is not being “fully utilised for content provision” by a licensee on the date thirty-six (36) months after the issue of the radio frequency spectrum licence in respect of the capacity in question, the “unutilised capacity shall be forfeited” [regulation 3(4)]
  • The relationship between the broadcasting service licensee as the holder of a spectrum licence and the electronic communications network service licensee providing signal distribution services to it is made explicit.  This is necessitated in part by the recent amendments to section 31 of the Electronic Communications Act. Regulation 7(2) reads:

“For the purpose of these Regulations it is deemed that an electronic communications network service licensee which is appointed by a television broadcasting service licensee to provide signal distribution services provides those services as an agent of the television broadcasting service licensee andtherefore will be deemed to be in compliance with section 31 of the Act.