Release of digital broadcast IRR faces delay

Posted at 04/01/14 6:14 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The release of the guidelines on the planned shift to digital terrestrial television will be delayed due to issues on frequency allocation.

The issuance of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR), initially planned for a first half release, will likely be moved to the second half of the year.

“There are issues including frequency allocation and channel planning that is why we have to move it. Hopefully, we can have it out in July,” National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) deputy commissioner Carlo Jose Martinez said.

Martinez said broadcast companies will have to use 6 megahertz frequency to shift to the digital terrestrial TV using the Japanese technology.
However, he said there are not enough slots under the frequency to accommodate all 30 broadcast companies.
“The frequency available is not enough to accommodate all the broadcasters especially in the National Capital Region so we are now finalizing the qualifications,” said Martinez, adding that the Japanese government is helping NTC resolve the issues.

NTC issued the memorandum circular for “Standard for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Broadcast Service” in November 2013 as government announced the shift to digital TV using Japanese technology.

NTC is finalizing the guidelines together with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and other stakeholders.

Upon completion of the IRR, broadcast companies will begin the simultaneous broadcasting for both digital and analog signal.

Once all households in the country become capable of receiving digital signals in their TV sets, government will then implement an “analog shut off.”