Since December 2012 non-entrepreneurial (non-commercial) legal entity Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) has been involved in support and advocacy process of transition from analog to digital broadcasting in Georgia. IDFI conducts its activities within the frames of the Project of Support and Monitoring of the Digital Switchover Process in Georgia with the support and funding from Open Society Georgian foundation.
IDFI completed monitoring and support process of the digital switchover by the beginning of 2016. According to the assessment of various organizations and entities answerable for the process, the contribution of our organization to the implementation of the model adapted to successful and democratic values is quite substantial. Despite the lack of attention of the government to a number of issues, in general the process was carried out successfully and according to the interests of broadcasters and customers, main actors of the media market.
“Georgian model of the digital switchover” – this is how the transition to the digital broadcasting was called at the 2015 annual OSCE Media Conference, one of the main topics of which was the process of transition to the digital broadcasting in South Caucasus. At the conference, which was attended by the representatives of all the states of the region, it was stated clearly that only Georgia managed successful analog switch-off and created its own model of digital broadcasting, which became possible primarily due to the involvement of the civil society in the process.
Despite certain small flaws in the work of the national coverage multiplexes and business sustainability problems facing regional multiplex platforms, overall, as of today, digital broadcasting system in Georgia comprises of 17 small regional, 2 private nationally broadcasted and one state-owned operational national digital networks, which, in a single specific residential area, gives viewers possibility to watch at least 20 and at most 60 free channels while in case of the analog system, it was possible to receive only up 10 channels in a given local territory and often of a very bad quality.
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