New deadline set for DTT in South Africa

June 2019 is the new deadline set by the African National Congress (ANC)for SA’s switch from analogue to digital terrestrial television (DTT) completion. This was announced by Jackson Mthembu, ANC communications sub-committee chairperson.

After missing the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU’s) June 2015 deadline, the Department of Communications (DOC), which oversees the broadcasting digital migration process, has been working to complete the migration of households to DTT.

The ITU has beseeched nations to switch over to free radio frequency spectrum for mobile broadband services. In November, reports surfaced that alleged outside influence in terms of technical specifications adopted for government-subsidised STBs.

While the DOC had a self-imposed December 2018 deadline to facilitate digital migration, the ANC’s new deadline essentially gives government more time to ensure millions of South African households switch to digital TV.
As part of the digital migration project, government plans to subsidise five million low-income South African households with free STBs.