ST JOHN’S, Antigua -- Decision makers in the Caribbean region, led by ministers from Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica and Montserrat, are deliberating various aspects of the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting at the inaugural Digital Broadcasting Switchover Forum (DBSF) Caribbean.
Jointly organised by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA) and the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) with the support of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), the event is modelled after the Digital Broadcasting Switchover Forum (DBSF) Africa, which the CTO has held annually since 2006.
The combination of the two Commonwealth agencies and the two leading regional bodies for ICTs and broadcasting, promises to make the event a unique knowledge exchange and a place to form partnerships.
While thanking the organising agencies for the timely intervention in his keynote address, Dr Edmond Mansoor, Minister of State, Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications, Science and Technology of the Office of Prime Minister, Antigua and Barbuda, alluded to both the opportunities and challenges of the digital broadcasting switchover.
“I am certain that the complexities of the digital switchover will appear less overwhelming at the end of this conference. The views, opinions and guidance of the event will serve us well at a time when we have to make a range of decisions: from the standard for adoption to the mechanisms of re-allocating the spectrum. The government of Antigua and Barbuda is pleased to host the inaugural event of this critically important series and I look forward to two days of fruitful deliberations,” he said.
In his keynote in the opening session, Pham Hai, head of broadcasting, International Telecommunications Union (ITU), mapped the adoption of Digital Broadcasting Switchover across the world, particularly the Europe, Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia. Fred Mattocks, general manager, media operations and technology, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, compared the different approaches adopted by the US and Canada, particularly the engagement of and assistance provided to consumers.
The Digital Broadcasting Switchover Caribbean Forum continue on Tuesday to examine issues concerning digital transmission, creating digital networks, spectrum management, licensing, business and financing and programming and advertising by a speaker faculty including Alan Downie of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association, Nigel Cassimire of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, Patrick Cozier of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union and Cordel Green, Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica.