On March 7th of the current year, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development presented the landmarks of the policy of Georgia transferring to digital terrestrial broadcasting and the vision of the issue to the Prime Minister of Georgia.
The meeting was attended by the representatives of ministries, broadcasters and NGOs. Ucha Seturi, and expert of IDFI who leads the subgroup working on social issues of the Council for Transition to Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting created in the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.
In the frameworks of the presentation an interesting business model was suggested, according to which the digital terrestrial network will be financed by the State. With this financial support the broadcast of both public channels and private broadcasters will be performed.
According to the above-mentioned project, in the transition perioed (17th June, 2015) the existing privately-owned broadcasters will be able to broadcast with no extra charge, which will enable them to avoid double expenses (expenses for existing broadcasting as well as digital broadcasting). Especially interesting in the presented model is the low-budget methods of subsidizing local and regional broadcasters, which would face serious problems because of the polarized advertisement market, as well as other reasons, without this aid.
The policy of subsidizing low-income users, which takes into consideration the installation services for a certain category of users besides the transfer of the necessary equipment without charge, should be evaluated positively. For the realization of the project on an appropriate level, the financing of an information campaign is also planned.
During the meeting the expert of IDFI, Ucha Seturi, presented the views of the Institute about the mentioned topic, namely, the views about the suggested business model, the issues of licensing and supporting competitiveness during the transition to digital terrestrial broadcasting. The organization already published several important studies about the transition to digital terrestrial broadcasting and is currently working on the social issues of the strategy of the transition to digital terrestrial broadcasting within the frameworks of the “Support and Monitoring of the Process of Transition to Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting in Georgia” project financed by the “Open Society - Georgia” Foundation, as well as other directions of policy.
See the studies of IDFI:
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