Switchover to Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting in Georgia and European Integration
Sergo Esakia – Ex-Minister of Communication, ESIDG researcher
The article is dedicated to a project on switchover to digital terrestrial broadcasting in Georgia. Pursuant to the requirements of this project and other obligations discussed in this article, the switchover to digital terrestrial broadcasting in Georgia should be completed by 17 June 2015. The switchover to digital terrestrial broadcasting in Georgia is conditioned by the fact that a digital format has many advantages over the analogue broadcasting. The first and principal is that the television signal quality is improved and a whole series of additional services are being added, and the second – the resource of frequencies, which is a limited natural resource, becomes available and can be used for providing high-technology services to the population. A switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting is a rather important event in the life of our country and its successful implementation is dependent on the coordinated and effective activities of both the executive and legislative branches, as well as the local self-government bodies. In addition, the switchover to digital broadcasting represents an international obligation of the
member states of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), including Georgia. Also important is that the switchover to digital broadcasting is an important component of Georgia’s integration with the European Union and its successful implementation will contribute to the process of Georgia’s convergence with Europe.
For the purpose of switchover to digital broadcasting, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, under its order of 5 December 2012, has set up a special deliberative body “the Council for Switchover to Digital Broadcasting”. As a result, on 7 February 2014 the Government of Georgia approved an “Action Plan and Recommendations for Switchover to Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting”. According to this plan, Georgia should switch over to digital broadcasting on 17 June 2015. The article deals in detail with the main components of the action plan, technical standards and legislative regulations, which are to ensure the switchover to digital terrestrial broadcasting so that at every stage of the transition period broadcasting remains accessible to the population.