Analog to Digital Media Switchover now on the way in the Caribbean is good news for local content creators
An Analog to Digital Media Switch over now on the way in the Caribbean may be good news for local content creators, who are looking to produce and distribute original programs. The successful transition in other parts of the world provides lessons that can be applied to the Caribbean. As with all technological advancement, digital switch-over is not without potential complications.
It could entail unwanted consequences like confusing or even marginalizing those unfamiliar with the technology. But the transition from analog to digital is inevitable, and produces many clear benefits. This is in part because digital television makes much more efficient use of scarce broadcast spectrum, the radio frequencies used for wireless communication.
By migrating television broadcasters to digital formats, governments can create opportunities to reallocate radio spectrum frequencies formerly assigned to those transmissions. Released spectrum creates what is called a digital dividend that can be reallocated to critical telecoms projects, such as nationwide emergency broadcast systems, national wireless broadband access projects & other initiatives.
In the Caribbean, where the supply of spectrum still outstrips current demand, there is much work to be done. Experts say, making the business case for the digital switch-over requires a blend of foresight and ingenuity. Among the most tangible possibilities for the region, is the opportunity to enhance the production of original video and audio programming for local consumption.
If the Caribbean is to maximize opportunities of digital switch-over, governments, regulators and broadcasters must work in concert, to deepen interest & investment in local content production. Bevil Wooding, an Internet Strategist said, “We can harness creative local resources to produce relevant local content, riding on local infrastructure, governed by local legislation, and transacting in local markets, to meet local needs”. The interconnected set of actions he describes is key to realizing the digital dividends other countries have already achieved, and the Caribbean longs for. Promoters say, with the right mix of political will, technical expertise and private sector investment, the Caribbean has the potential to convert its digital assets into a real cultural dividend.
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