Rwanda: Govt Approves Policy for transition to digital broadcasting

Regulation & Policy

A cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame, Wednesday, approved a new broadcasting policy that will facilitate the migration from analogue to digital.

According to the acting Director General at Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency, Regis Gatarayiha, the approval of the new policy ushers in a new era in the history of the broadcasting industry. "This paves way for the licensing framework which is in line with migration from analogue to digital," Gatarayiha said.

The approval of the policy follows a deadline of 2015, set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), for all member-states to switch off analogue signals.

Rwanda has set the end of 2011 as its deadline. The policy provides a thorough and solid framework for directing the development and management of a growing broadcasting industry that will bring the benefits of digitalisation to all Rwandans.

"Signal distributors will build a network capable of carrying signals from the content service provider. This means that one provider can operate several channels," said Gatarayiha.

The migration is made necessary by the developments in telecommunications technologies which enable a more efficient use of radio frequency spectrum as well as better quality pictures and sound.

According to Gatarayiha, there are several foreign broadcasters who have expressed interest in operating in Rwanda; however, the approval of their applications would be based on the quality of services they will provide.