Sonja Breet told the Digital TV Summit in Bryanston, Johannesburg, the quick spread of television across the developing world could help close the digital gap.
“That divide can be partly addressed through digital migration and digital television,” she said. “TV spreads incredibly fast across communities.”
Breet referred to statistics from Indonesia, which found in one village television ownership stood at 30 per cent within two years of electrification, while five years later the figure stood at 60 per cent. Less than five per cent owned a fridge.
The African Internet Status Report of 2008 proved the ability of television to spread and close the digital divide faster than internet connectivity. The research found one in 13 Africans had a television, compared to one in 160 with internet access.
“Developments in technology have had a profound impact on our world and our society. It has forced the broadcasting industry to rethink their models,” she said. “Now everyone has access to tools like digital cameras and PCs to create their own content and broadcast it on the internet.
“Although convergence might be a technological phenomenon its biggest effect is on an economical and social level.”