The Ministry of Public Telecommunications and the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) hosted a one-day consultation for licensed television broadcasters on the procedures and road-map for Guyana’s transition from Analogus to Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV) Broadcasting by 2020.
The roadmap has been developed by the NFMU to guide the conversion process, which is expected to enable Guyana to catch up and keep up with technological advancements in broadcasting.
The consultation was held at the Guyana Police Force’s Officers Training Centre on Camp Road.
Telecommunications Minister Catharine Hughes told local broadcasters they will have to keep up with the changing pace of technologies around the world, while noting that many countries have already completed the transition or have started to transition to DTTV broadcasting. She noted that countries like French Guiana and America have already switched over, while neighbouring Suriname has already started the process.
“Whether we like it or not, unless if we start manufacturing our own analogue equipment, we are not even going to be able to provide and to purchase the equipment that our… television stations and radio stations are built on,” she said.
The minister noted that there must be a plan and a commitment, even if Guyana does not make the transition date in 2020. “But the aim for the consultations is to discuss how to plan for the transitioning, how to discuss the changes in business models in technology and how to move as a unified productive sector forward,” she said, while adding that the broadcasters have a responsibility to serve the citizens of Guyana by informing, educating and entertaining them.
NFMU Managing Director Valmikki Singh, who gave the broadcasters a general overview of the road map, said that the document was done by an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) consultant.
ITU has published guidelines for the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. In a further effort to help switch-over to digital broadcasting, Singh said that ITU offered several countries, including Guyana, the assistance to develop national roadmaps for the transition. He noted that the project for Guyana was funded by the Republic of South Korea.
Singh, who deemed the roadmap as essential, said when it was completed it was later made available to broadcasters countrywide for review.