IMPLEMENTING RULES for the country’s switch to digital television should be out as early as this month, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) yesterday said after missing its April deadline.
It is still uncertain, however, whether the government will favor the Japanese standard over the European one, a sticking point which the state agency claims won’t delay the issuance of the rules.
“We are set to finish it this month, or June at the latest,” Commissioner Gamaliel A. Cordoba told BusinessWorld in a telephone interview.
The technical working group crafting the rules has been continuously working, he said, noting its recent meeting last Wednesday on the frequency maps for digital TV.
NTC had earlier announced that it would finalize the draft by April at the earliest, however, Mr. Cordoba said that ironing out details took longer than expected.
Sought for comment on which standard the country has chosen to adopt, Mr. Cordoba said: “We’re studying the possibility of a review. We will make the announcement in the second week of May.”
This, however, will not affect the process of crafting the IRR, as it remains “neutral” to any technology, Mr. Cordoba said.
“The IRR contains technical details and it can be used for the adoption of any technology, so we don’t have to worry about creating another if we decide to switch [to another technology,” Mr. Cordoba said.
In June last year, NTC, following unanimous industry support, decided to adopt the Japanese Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) standard as the country’s digital television platform over the European Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) technology.
Representatives from the Japanese embassy and NTC officials signed a memorandum of cooperation. Japanese makers of the set-top boxes required for non-digital TV sets were said to have committed to build a manufacturing plant in the Philippines to help cut prices.
But then a review on whether the Japanese standard or the upgraded European standard (DVB-2) was raised by the House committee, as revealed by Mr. Cordoba last March.
Earlier in 2006, the industry regulator had released a memorandum saying the country would be using the European standard DVB for digital television.
The Philippines aims to complete the shift to digital TV by 2015. After NTC issues the rules for the digital TV standard, broadcasting firms can start rolling out the digital signals alongside analog signals. - Kathleen A. Martin, Business World, dated 1 May 2011, 10:27 PM.Source: I.T. Matters