My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Why the Broadcasting Commission says Digital Switch Over coming to Jamaica in 2018

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Why the Broadcasting Commission says Digital Switch Over coming to Jamaica in 2018

The future of Free-to-Air television and Radio is delayed yet again.

It won't be until 2018 before DSO is implemented as noted in the article “Digital switchover not likely before 2018”, published Tuesday, March 03, 2015, The Jamaica Observer

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So said the Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission, Cordel Green at the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry Power Brokers Workshop and Luncheon held at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in Rose Hall held back in March 2015.

Since then media has been awfully quiet on DSO, which is supposed to revolutionize the Broadcasting Industry as I'd predicted in my Geezam blog article entitled “The Future of Free-to-Air Broadcasters in Jamaica as Digital Switch Over Approaches in 2015”.

The free-to-air broadcasters, both in Radio and Television have been quiet on the subject. Not even the idea of Digital Audio Broadcast has been mentioned even as Norway plan to totally switch off FM Radio as noted in my blog article entitled “Norway to Switch Off FM Radio – How Efficient Digital Audio Broadcast mandated by @BCJamaica is coming to Jamaican Broadcasters”.

Apparently, they fear the costs and possible loss of customer to Cable TV services such as FLOW, Digicel Play and the upstart Ready TV which promises affordable Wireless HDTV as explained in my Geezam blog article entitled “Digital Interactive Services READY TV Revolution is Cable TV for all Jamaicans”.

So why is DSO still necessary, despite the quiet from the Broadcasters?

Aside from more efficient use of spectrum, the empty Radio and Television bands can be used for High speed Data services as noted in my blog article entitled “OfCom approves White Spaces usage in Britain - Why Digital Switch Over in Jamaica is Necessary for Unlicensed White Space Frequencies”. 

This would allow more Telecom Providers to come to Jamaica, thus creating competition using these White Space Spectrum that Microsoft is so diligently mapping and testing in Jamaica as noted in my blog article entitled “How White Space Testing by Microsoft at Park Hall Primary and Infant School heralds 80 MBps Competition in Jamaica”.

Explains why the Broadcaster and Telecom Provider are so quiet; more competition in Jamaica isn’t something they’d be excited about. Even if it DTV (Digital Terrestrial Television) mean more spectrum due to more efficient use of spectrum.

Ready TV may also see the birth of Jamaican Reality TV programming, with more local content to attract viewership as predicted in my blog article entitled “How DISL ReadyTV set to deliver Wireless Cable TV with paid Local Jamaican Reality TV Content”. 

It remains to be seen if DSO for Radio and Television will happen in 2018. Hopefully by 2017 the Media will start open dialogue with the public as they ramp up for a 2018 launch, which is only a year away.


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