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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Spio-Garbrah leads experts to DBS-06

Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah would lead other experts to the second edition of the Digital Broadcasting Switchover (DBS) forum slated for April, in London.

Other experts billed to lead discussions at the two-day forum include Coordinator, Radiocommunications Research and Programme at the African Telecom Union (ATU), Mr. Gideon Lobi Mwakatobe, Research Leader, Spectrum Planning at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC’s) Research and Development, Nigel Laflin and Executive, DHT Services at SENTECH, Mr. Francois Lindeque among others.

Information from the organizers of the forum, CTO, indicated that Dr. Spio-Garbrah would give a welcome address with keynote address centered on Europe’s Transitional Plans for the year, what are the challenges to switchover in Europe and how has this been addressed so far.

Other coordination process by countries in the Europe would come into focus and what benchmarks there is for adaptation by African countries.

Sub-theme like the Policy Framework for Early Digital Switchover would also have its own share at the forum with an update on how broadcaster and consumer concerns about cost, interoperability and value for money could be addressed by government policy as well as how government policies for digital broadcasting could be integrated with a broader Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policy framework both nationally and regionally.

The forum organized by CTO also indicated that resolving the people-centered issues such as skills shortage and retraining existing staff in new technologies and standards as well as the benefits associated with the switchover to digital broadcasting for the developing world.

Strategies to gain public acceptance and make digital technology affordable is another issue of interest for potential participants at the forum in addition to learning from different regulatory approaches undertaken so far to drive development of digital broadcasting market, economics of digital switchover for the African market.

The programme would be summed up with what the likely cost of digital switchover and how it is being funded would into fore, just as listening to international experts from major broadcasters, regulators, policy makers, consumer representatives and representatives of other government departments and bodies is added advantage for participants.

CTO noted that the forum takes after the success of last year’s edition as they expect that comprehensive attention aimed at all those involved in the processes of switching from analogue to digital broadcasting in emerging markets would be touched.

This year’s forum is scheduled to take place at Royal Horseguards Hotel, London between April 3 and 4.

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