NEWS

Digital TV Here For All Fijians, Says Prime Minister

Fijians will soon access better television pictures and sound quality through a digital platform. This is after Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama launched the trial run of digital TV though the
30 Jul 2016 11:02
Digital TV Here For All  Fijians, Says Prime Minister
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama (middle), and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (right), at the launch of the trial run of digital TV. Photo: Office of the Attorney-General

Fijians will soon access better television pictures and sound quality through a digital platform.

This is after Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama launched the trial run of digital TV though the state-owned platform Walesi, at Nasese in Suva yesterday.

Mr Bainimarama said while other countries in the region had digital TV set up by private companies, “we were the first Pacific Island Government to invest in the infrastructure for digital TV at a national level.

“Not only have we invested in the infrastructure through our state-owned company, Walesi Limited, but we have also invested in the latest compression technology, which I am told has the potential to return a better picture quality than what is seen in Australia,” he said.

“And this enhanced picture quality will be available to all Fijians.”

The trial run will begin on Monday in the Suva to Nasinu corridor before the full service is officially launched for the rest of the country later this year.

“I ask those living in the rest of the country to be patient and we will soon bring digital television to you as well,” Mr Bainimarama said.

He said to access the digital TV platform, one would need a set top box which would be available from retailers for a maximum price of $99.95.

He also revealed Government’s commitment in ensuring that all Fijians had access to digital TV by allocating $2 million to provide low income households with a set top box for free.

“We are working with Water Authority of Fiji, Fiji Electricity Authority of Fiji and the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation to finalise the initiative and the details will be revealed in the coming days,” the Prime Minister said.

Mr Bainimarama also publically unveiled the five channels on the digital TV platform from the three broadcast companies, Fiji Television Limited (Fiji TV), Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) and Mai TV.

Two channels were each allocated to Fiji TV and FBC while one channel was allocated to Mai TV.

Attorney-General and Minister for Communications Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the initiative gave us the opportunity to have more channels through the free to air broadcasters.

“For a developing country like Fiji, it is very important for us to have that level of spectrum available especially for development purposes.

“We could have channels that could be dedicated for education purposes, more opportunity for public service broadcast, special programmes on agriculture, reaching out to people who have never experienced this kind of technology and reaching out to them with Government policies,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the reallocation of spectrum, from a long term perspective, was part of Government’s vision which placed Fiji on the 21st century.

Edited by Nemani Delaibatiki

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