Project Title: Supporting and Monitoring of the Transition to Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting in Georgia
Project Funded: Open Society - Georgia Foundation-OSGF
Project Budget: 60 645,04 USD
Project Duration: April, 2014 – December 2014
During 2013, with the active participation and engagement of IDFI, important activities were carried out in terms of digital terrestrial broadcasting; however, despite such positive changes problems connected to de-monopolization, transparency of access tariffs, considering the interests of the regional media, introducing the competitive and open competition procedures still remain. State Strategy of Georgia, approved by the Government of Georgia in February 2014 reflects the proposals, recommendations and remarks of our organization; however, minor problems still remain on the stage of defining the strategic objectives.
Advocacy stage has crucial importance; other than making number of decisions regarding the activities directed at the end user (awareness raising), very important legal package must be prepared which will dramatically change the technical and legal basis of the media environment. Special attention must be paid to the process of selecting the digital terrestrial broadcasting platform operator, conducted by the Georgian National Communications Commission.
It is preferable to control the issues connected to the access to terrestrial signal networks of the national, local and regional broadcasters in order to eliminate the so called systematic and unsystematic obstacles. The role of the Georgian National Communications Commission is crucially important in these processes, which according to the government plan, must commence in 2014. Formation of the fully competitive market is likely to be completed by 2017 by creating number of alternative networks; in order to ensure the competitive media environment, it is important to control the digital terrestrial broadcasting network access tariffs, transparency and non-discrimination of the conditions of access, as well as focusing on the broadcasting tariffs which will be cost-oriented and reasonable.
During the next 7 months, in terms of monitoring the process of digital switchover, project will cover the following key directions:
- Implementing the process of digital switchover in accordance to the directives of EU, Georgian media market operators and European Court of Justice, identifying flaws and defining the ways of eliminating these defects.
- Eliminating the technical, competitive, economic barriers of the process of digital switchover.
- Monitoring the work of the LEPL Digital Broadcasting Agency, studying the current practice and the legal acts that were designed to regulated the process, elaborating the recommendations and advocacy; submitting the proposal of legislative amendments to the Parliament of Georgia and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.
In order to improve the Georgian media environment, activities must be carried out in the following four directions:
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