The next crucial step in digital migration, the delivery of set top boxes, has begun in earnest as the South African Post Office (SAPO) begins shipping the tech to Northern Cape households.

A report on Fin24 details how the Northern Cape roll out will provide set top boxes to underprivileged households throughout the province as well as the square kilometre array (SKA) region, which has been earmarked as a priority.

In a statement SAPO said, “The SA Post Office is due to deliver more than 2 000 set top decoders to households in the SKA area of the Northern Cape. This follows the launch of the first six set top television decoders by the Minister of Communication, Ms Faith Muthambi, to three households in Keimoes and three in Kakamas on December 17.”

While this news is welcome because there finally appears to be traction on the digital migration front more work needs to be done, particularly in the SKA region as is outlined in a General Notice amendment to the Electronic Communications Act.

An excerpt from the notice reads, “Frequency migration may be required in core and central astronomy advantage areas in terms of section 22(2) (c) of the Astronomy Geographic Advantage Act (Act No 21 of 2007).”

This means that the SKA region is a high priority for the Department of Communication and should be one of the first regions to switch from terrestrial television to digital.

To qualify for a set top box applicants must bring the following to their local post office:

  • Identity book
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of income or a payslip
  • Affidavit if they don’t have an income
  • TV  license

While this roll out is quite small in the greater scheme of things at least digital migration seems to moving forward, late as it may be.

[Image CC by 2.0 – Terry Robinson]