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Malawi government confident of beating digital migration deadline

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Malawi government has said it is confident that it will beat the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) deadline for African countries to completely switch over to Television Digital Broadcasting effective 17 June 2015.

Malawi and other African countries made a commitment to complete the process of transmitting television signals from analogue to digital format by June 2015 and i f they have not done so, the countries would not be protected from signal interference.

Speaking on Saturday in Zomba when he officially opened a two-day media workshop organised by Blantyre Press Club on digital migration, Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture

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Kondwani Nankhumwa said Malawi has made noticeable progress towards the switching over to digital broadcasting before the deadline in June.

“At the moment we have completed over 55 per cent of the work relating to switching over to digital broadcasting and we hope that by 17th June this year, we will have completed 90 percent of the work. We know that there will be some challenges but we will see to it that all Malawians are aware of the benefits of migrating to digital broadcasting,” said Nankhumwa.

Malawi started the digital migrating process in December 2013 and since then, the country has been broadcasting both in analogue and digital format a process which is known as dual illumination.

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But this will end on June 17 once the country completely switches over to digital broadcasting format.

But making a presentation on safe guarding consumer rights as the country finally migrates to digital transmission, Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) Executive Director John Kapito asked government to consider subsidising the cost of the decoders which will be used for digital transmission.

Francis Bisika, Deputy Director for Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) which financed the workshop, assured the public not to panic because as a regulatory body Macra has put in place modalities to make sure that all necessary information and equipment are readily available to the general public.

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