The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) has stopped issuing broadcasting licence spending the Communications Act review, The Daily Times has learnt.
The development comes after the regulator recently issued over 40 broadcast licences to both radio and television operators most of who have already rolled out in the country.
Macra Communications Officer, Clara Mulonya, confirmed in a response to a questionnaire, saying the regulator will resume issuing licences once the new Act is in place.
Mulonya was, however, non-committal to determine the timeframe when the Act will be ready.
“Macra has no intention at the moment to issue more licenses until the converged licensing framework is finalised and the new Communications Act is in place which will simplify the licensing process and allow ‘walk in’ applications,” she said.
Meanwhile, Macra has engaged all television broadcasters, who were given licences almost five years ago, to ensure that they provide content to the Malawi Digital Broadcast Network before end of the year.
Mulonya said the prospective television stations risk license withdrawal if they fail to do so.
She further said Macra has set November 2015 as deadline for licensed radio stations to roll out.
“Those that don’t roll out will have their licenses revoked. No extensions are being entertained as they were given final extension,” explained Mulonya.
She added: “There are two that have shown no sign of rolling out; no studios, nothing on the ground, these are Nthalire Radio and Limbe Muslim Jamaat Radio. The other one, ACT Radio, has committed to roll out before the November deadline.”
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