Philippines ASO slips 3 years

Some Filipino homes have already invested in digital TVs and set-top convertors ready for an analogue switch to digital planned for the end of 2015. Now the country’s National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is looking at requiring broadcast networks to shut off their analogue channels in 2018, and even this date might slip to 2019.

NTC chief Gamaliel Cordoba said the government is aiming to cut off analogue TV in three to five years to prepare the country’s migration to digital terrestrial TV (DTT).

The Philippines had planned to migrate from analogue to digital TV during 2015.

Cordoba, however, said the final shutoff date would depend on the migration plan that the agency is crafting together with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)- Information and Communications Technology Office. NTC is finalizing the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the country’s migration to DTT.

Under the NTC’s draft IRR, Japan’s Integrated Services Digital Broadcast-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) standard should be the sole standard in the delivery of digital TV broadcast service in the Philippines. In November last year, the NTC issued Memorandum Circular No. 05-11-2013, adopting Japan’s Integrated Services Digital Broadcast-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) standard for the Philippines’ migration to digital TV.

The NTC order came on the heels of President Benigno Aquino III’s promise to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the Philippines would choose Japan’s standard over that of Europe’s DVB. Aquino made the promise during a state visit to Japan in October of last year.

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