Georgia’s Digital Broadcasting Switchover Strategy

News | INTERNET AND INNOVATIONS | Publications | Policy Document 15 May 2013

The Government of Georgia, noting national interests of the state in developing both digital broadcasting and telecommunication and broadcasting fields, develops guidelines, strategic objectives and tasks for Georgia’s digital broadcasting switchover.

It is a strategic objective of the state that analog broadcasting in Georgia is completely switched off by June 17, 2015, while implementation of digital broadcasting switchover plan will be completed by that date. The above date has been set by International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Those circumstances mean that after June 2015 the existing analog television stations will no longer be legally protected from coverage of the stations from neighboring countries.

The digital broadcasting switchover policy is based on the following principles:
Consumer rights protection;
Facilitatation of information society development in Georgia;
Ensuring freedom of expression and media pluralism;
Facilitatation of media freedom;
Facilitatation of competitive markets development;
The most effective use of exhaustible frequency resources;
Adherence to international standards;
Implementation of obligations undertaken at international level.

One of the objectives of Georgia’s digital broadcasting switchover strategy is to develop digital terrestrial broadcasting as a competing platform along with the existing broadcasting technologies.

Apart from the better quality broadcasting programs, digital broadcasting users will be in a position to enjoy new generation of interactive services, educational or other types of information services and products that can not be provided through analog network. Digital broadcasting switchover will create preconditions for television program diversity, audio visual media and service providers. Provision of additional and new generation services based on digital broadcasting network will be restricted within a digital broadcasting switchover period.

The objective of digital broadcasting switchover strategy rests with creation and maintenance of good and attractive conditions for investing in broadcasting and telecommunication market with purposes of ensuring minimal financial participation of the state in the switchover process. The strategy of the Government of Georgia aims at protecting interests of all stakeholers.

The Government of Georgia has the following objectives:
Provide all terrestrial broadcasters operating in Georgia as well as all content producers with an opportunity of broadcasting through high capacity, sustainable and safe network based on transparent, non-discriminatory and cost-oriented tariffs;
Ensure viewers’ access to high quality and diverse programs.

The following stages will be covered to successfully introduce the strategy:
Correct planning of the process;
Amendments introduced to legislative acts;
Implementation of information campaign accessible to all groups of the society;
Selection and licensing of a multiplex operator;
Subsidizing-financing of directions necessary for the process;
Close control and revision of correct implementation of the digital broadcasting system introduction process carried out at all stages.
The strategy sets additional terms and criteria for prioritites of allocating digital terrestrial television network in transitional and following periods. The strategy defines rules for commercial broadcasters’ access to multiplexor resources in case of a restricted resource.

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