Radio and television stations in Zambia are critical of government plans to create a single nationalised carrier to provide broadcasting signal as a result of the country’s failure to meet its digital migration deadline.
“We want to introduce a single nationalised digital carrier that will be transmitting signal to televisions and radio stations. This is cost effective and will enhance quality broadcasting,” said Amos Malupenga, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Radio and television stations from the private sector are unhappy about the step, citing lack of competition and limited explanation from the government with regard to the proposed state monopoly.
MultiChoice Zambia stated that “that each licensed broadcaster must be allowed the space to choose and associate its channels freely”.
However, Chibamba Kanyama, Director General at the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), is in favour of government plans.
He agreed that it will be cheaper and more effective with regards to coverage.
The decision follows Zambia’s acknowledgement that it will not meet the digital migration deadline for Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries of December 2013.
Instead, the Zambian government is now aiming for the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) deadline of 2015.