MED has announced the steps it will take to follow through on the government’s intention to make further progress towards an all-digital television environment for New Zealand.
The government has agreed to revised policies for analogue and digital television licences which will allow licence holders to plan their transition to digital technology with greater certainty beyond the present expiry date of 2020.
The revised policies confirm the ability of licence holders to convert their analogue broadcasting to digital at any time, and require broadcasters to accept any changes that are necessary to consolidate their digital television use as analogue services are switched off. Conditions relating to analogue switch off will be applied progressively as any changes occur to existing analogue licences, and digital licences will be subject to implementation requirements.
Digital television services use the radio frequency spectrum more efficiently than analogue services and this allows some frequencies to be considered for re-allocation as a “digital dividend” after analogue broadcasts cease.
MED has been asked to re-plan and consolidate the existing UHF television bands to enable early identification and allocation of digital dividend spectrum for new mobile, broadband and broadcast services.
Full details of the revised policies will be published on the MED website (http://www.rsm.govt.nz/cms/policy-and-planning/current-projects/broadcasting/digital-television).