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Legal action stops South Africa STB production

South Africa’s never-ending road to digital adoption was dealt another blow with the production of locally built set-top boxes ceasing because of a legal action.

In May the country’s Supreme Court set aside the government’s decision not to include encryption software into its digital set-top boxes.  Universal Service and Access Agency of SA, a major supplier of the nation’s STBs, said that following legal advice it had received after the court’s judgment, it “decided to suspend” production until a further “directive from the executive authority”.

That judgement is now the subject of an appeal.

Two other major suppliers are involved in producing an initial 1.5 million boxes (out of a total plan for 5 million), but to date just 450,000 have been manufactured. These are only trickling into the market. In May, for example, the Northern Cape region received just 6348 units.

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