"The transformation in television broadcasting from analog to digital is a must," Director General of Postal and Informatics Organizers of Kominfo, Ahmad M. Ramli, noted during a webinar on Digital TV Socialization 2021, Jakarta, Thursday, July 22, 2021.
Ramli pointed out that Indonesia was perceived as being late in converting the analog television to digital television or also known as the Analog Switch-off (ASO) owing to regulatory reasons.
A strong legal basis for ASO only existed when the Omnibus Law on Job Creation was passed in which it mandates the ASO to be completed no later than November 2, 2022.
After switching to digital terrestrial television broadcasting, the ministry insisted that the public will be able to avail better-quality television broadcasts, in terms of the image and sound.
Ramli believes that with the analog broadcast service being switched off, the country will also be able to avail high-speed internet. During this time, the 700MHz radio frequency spectrum, deemed ideal for telecommunications, is entirely spent on analog terrestrial television broadcasting.
"Analog broadcasts are wasteful," Ramli stated.
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When analog broadcasts get switched to digital, a digital dividend of 112MHz will be available that can be allocated for other purposes.
Moreover, the government plans to use ASO's digital dividend results to offer high-speed internet service.
High-speed internet will also be supported by the development of telecommunication infrastructure, especially in the outermost and least developed regions.
"Adding the digital dividend will be very helpful for the public to get better internet services," Ramli affirmed.
However, the switch will also have consequences for those not using television devices that can capture digital broadcasts, as a set-top box will have to be installed, he explained.
The government plans to offer subsidies for the poor through the provision of set-top boxes. An estimated 6.5-7 million set-top boxes will be provided for poor families in Indonesia.
The assistance through the provision of set-top boxes is the commitment of the broadcasting agency, as the multiplexing organizers, and the government, through public television broadcaster TVRI.
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