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ICASA to hold public hearings on WoWtv application

Posted by radio On October - 26 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (“ICASA”) has given notice to all interested stakeholders that they will hold public hearings in respect of an application from Walking On Water Television (WoWtv) for the authorisation of nineteen (19) video channels and eight (8) radio channels lodged in terms of regulation 3 of the Subscription Broadcasting Services Regulations 2006.

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The Authority has received three (3) submissions on this application and scheduled public hearing in that regard.

 

DATE            30 October 2015

VENUE        :  Pinmill Farm, 164 Katherine Street

 

TIME ITEM PRESENTER
09h00 – 09h30 Opening Address ICASA
09h30 – 10h00 Presentation Walking on Water Television (Pty) Ltd
10h00 – 10h30 REPRESENTATIONS Deukom (Pty) Ltd
10h30 – 11h00 Tea Break
11h00 – 12h00 RESPONSES Walking on Water Television (Pty) Ltd
12h00 – 12h30 Question And Answer ICASA
12h30 – 12h35 Closing ICASA

 

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The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (‘the Authority’) hereby notifies all stakeholders, particularly communities with an interest in applying for community sound broadcasting service licences that the Authority has issued a notice of a moratorium in respect of such applications as well as applications for radio frequency spectrum licences for the purposes of providing a community sound broadcasting service.

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In the government gazette published on 22 September 2015, the Authority stated that the imposition of the moratorium was necessitated by the following:

 

  1. Scarcity of analogue radio frequencies

 

  1. The current review of licensing processes and procedure regulations wherein the Authority intends to process registrations for community sound broadcasting services in two (2) intervals per year

 

  1. The Authority’s intention to develop a new regulatory framework for community broadcasting during the 2016/17 financial year

 

It should be noted that the moratorium does not apply to pending registrations currently before the Authority and applications already approved but not issued with community sound broadcasting licences.

 

The Authority will issue a formal notice and communicate its decision to lift the moratorium once all processes have been completed and it is ready for licensing.

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ICASA issues an ITA for Spectrum licence

Posted by radio On September - 16 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has issued an Invitation To Apply (ITA) dated 10 September 2015 (Gazette No: 39191) for the Radio Frequency Spectrum Licence for the third Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT3), referred to as multiplex 3 (“MUX 3”) in terms of the Promotion of Diversity and Competition on Digital Terrestrial Television Regulations of 2014.

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The successful applicant will be assigned 45 % of MUX 3 capacity by the Authority for commercial subscription television broadcasting services.

 

The minimum requirements for the prequalification stage are as follows:

 

  1. An applicant must be a television broadcasting service licensee as defined in the Promotion of Diversity and Competition on Digital Terrestrial Television Regulations.

 

  1. An applicant must have a minimum of 30% ownership held by historically disadvantaged person(s) and/or a level 4 (four) Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) status.

 

The Authority views this as an important milestones towards promoting diversity of television content for the South African public while fostering competition within the subscription television sector.

 

The closing date for the ITA is 30 November 2015.

 

 

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The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) hereby issues the Findings Document following the publication of a Discussion Document into the review of South African Local Content on television and radio. The process that drew a lot of attention from interested stakeholders and the general public, summarises the views expressed by interested persons with respect to the regulation of South African Local Content.

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It is the Authority’s view that the summary is not exhaustive, but reflects on salient issues raised by interested parties; and these will assist ICASA to develop positions and draft regulations informed by the consultations and research conducted thus far on South African Local Content.

 

The Authority commends stakeholders who took part in this process, with some submitting that local content must be audited across the entire bouquet of the television service provider rather than requiring each channel to measure compliance with television local content requirements.

 

Others cautioned the Authority that excessively high local content requirements can undermine the viability of broadcasters and pluralism, particularly at the community level as this will lead to a higher number of repeats, ultimately resulting in negative consequences such as the decline in listenership.

 

Even though the Authority is yet to develop its position, it still believes that through South African music and television programming, radio and television can make a vital contribution to democracy, nation building and development in South Africa; while protecting and developing the country’s national cultures and identities, and promoting local industries.

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More competition for Free to air TV on the way

Posted by radio On September - 11 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has issued an Invitation to Apply for Individual Commercial Free to Air Television Broadcasting Service Licence

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The new players will compete with the likes of eTV which was launched in October 1998 and SABC 3 which is a commercial arm of the public broadcaster. For a detailed ITA see the link below:

 

 

https://www.icasa.org.za/Portals/0/Lic%20and%20Compliance/37953_29-8_ICASA.pdf

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The changes in technologies and developments in the broadcasting sphere brought about by the imminent migration to digital broadcasting have led to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) undertaking a review of the South African local content regulations for television and radio. The Authority has published a Discussion Document for public comments.

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The Discussion Document is an Inquiry in terms of section 4B of the ICASA Act into the review of South African Local Content on television and radio regulations.

Prior to developing a Discussion document the Authority appointed a Consulting Company to conduct a thorough analysis and assessment of the cultural, economic and social benefits brought about by the preservation of South African programming regulations; and to perform a sound cost-benefit analysis on behalf of ICASA. A copy of the Consulting Company report is available at the ICASA library.

 

 

It is the Authority’s view that through South African music and television programming, radio and television can make a vital contribution to democracy, nation building and development in South Africa; and that the local content quotas will go a long way in protecting and developing the country’s national cultures and identities, and promoting local industries.

 

 

Interested stakeholders are encouraged to make comments on the Discussion Document by no later than 16h00 on 10 September 2014.

 

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Icasa sets sights on new spectrum bands

Posted by radio On May - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

 

Although Icasa regulates all spectrum between 9kHz and 1THz, Stucke explained that the authority has not really attempted to tackle anything above 30GHz until now.

 

Icasa only has a spectrum licensing framework that goes up to 30GHz. We don’t know how to regulate spectrum above 30GHz,” he said.

 

Stucke said the first challenge is that the current spectrum fee regime doesn’t make sense above 30GHz as it will prove prohibitively expensive. He explained that the issue is resolvable and Icasa intends addressing it so that the industry can take advantage of EHF spectrum.

 

Icasa, he said, must still determine which licensing models are most appropriate – whether the frequency should be licence-exempt or licensed in some way. He said the conventional licensing model for spectrum is well understood, but is slow, cumbersome and expensive. The licence-exempt model tends to work quite well for Wi-Fi, but only for personal hotspots, he said. “It’s not always as good for commercial uses as there is no provision for protection [from interference].”

 

Because of its properties, EHF spectrum is most likely to be used for short-distance, high-capacity, point-to-point links – providing “very fast throughput using relatively small antennas with very high gain”, according to Wapa executive committee associate and spectrum expert Jens Langenhorst. One application, Langenhorst said, would be for providing high-speed backhaul between small cellular sites (so-called picocells).

 

However, EHF spectrum has a number of problems, including the fact that it is only really suitable for short-distance communications (typically 2km or less) and the fact that it is highly susceptible to so-called “rain fade”. Also, specifically around 60GHz, oxygen in the atmosphere “absorbs” radio signals and causes significant attenuation.

 

In past it was considered unusable spectrum, but you can do a hotspot and get a gigabit per second of capacity over it over a relatively short distance,” he said. “60GHz is not usable much beyond 2km and is the one place in EHF spectrum where attenuation is at its worst.”

 

Heavy rain also causes problems, Langenhorst said. However, Simon Yomtov, country MD of networking specialist Ceragon, said South Africa is “an almost perfect place to deploy e-band”. This is because rainfall is fairly low in general.

 

Wietz Joubert, co-founder of Redline Technologies, proposed a different solution. He said so-called “optical wireless broadband” (OWB) technology, which uses optical laser beams to transmit data at high speeds in the 300THz and 400THz bands, could be used in conjunction with EHF equipment to provide high-speed short-haul links.

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ICASA prepares for fair and equitable Election 2014 broadcast

Posted by radio On February - 24 - 2014 Comments Off on ICASA prepares for fair and equitable Election 2014 broadcast

With the date for the national and provincial government elections having been announced by the President recently, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa is gearing itself up to ensure fair and equitable treatment of contesting political parties by broadcasting service licensees.

 

In that case, the Authority informs all stakeholders and the media about the publication of the final Regulations on Party Election Broadcasts, Political Advertisements, the Equitable Treatment of Political parties by Broadcasting Licensees. The regulations were published on 17 February 2014.

 

 

The regulations’ aim is to prescribe a framework and guidelines under which Party Election Broadcasts (PEBs) and Political Adverts (PAs) shall be conducted and carried by broadcasting service licensees during the 2014 national and provincial government elections.

 

The Authority would like to inform relevant stakeholders of how the process is going to unfold:

 

 

  • The Authority will receive the final list of contesting political parties from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in due course
  • Upon receipt of the list, the Authority will invite contesting political party representatives to a briefing session to allocate the PEB slots in accordance with the Formula as outlined in the Regulations on Party Election Broadcasts, Political Parties by Broadcasting Licensees
  • The public broadcaster and other broadcasting service Licensees who have indicated interest in transmitting PEBs will also be invited
  • The Council of ICASA will proclaim the Election Broadcast Period.
  • The Authority will therefore publish the PEB schedule in the government gazette within 2 days of the allocation of slots.

 

 

The Authority will ensure that extensive monitoring of election coverage in terms of the regulations and licence conditions of broadcasters is undertaken in that regard.
[Issued by: ICASA]

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New radio licences awarded by ICASA for secondary markets

Posted by radio On February - 6 - 2014 Comments Off on New radio licences awarded by ICASA for secondary markets

[By: Radiobiz Reporter]

 

Kathrina Pillay, Councillor at the Independent Communications Authority, made public ICASA’s decision to render licences for sound broadcast in secondary markets. These markets are regionally in Free State, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape. She added that, “the licensing of additional commercial sound broadcasting services will also stimulate competition and provide choice and variety of radio services available to South Africans.”

 

ICASA’s crusade comes as a developmental strategy to “provide a platform for the expression of multiple views; providing entertainment; promoting information dissemination and education; strengthening social cohesion and giving a voice to various sections of the population”, says Pillay

 

 

The process began with the publication of an Invitation to Apply (ITA), on 2 February 2012, inviting applications for individual commercial sound broadcasting service licences in the secondary markets. The ITA stipulated that only one licence will be issued to the successful applicant in the Northern Cape and with another in the Eastern Cape.

 

Applications had to be submitted to the Authority by 27 June 2012. By the closing date, the Authority had received six applications in response to the ITA, five which include Motheo Media Technologies (Pty) Ltd, Seriti Broadcasting Company, Free Soul FM and Histotrim (Pty). The former three were later disqualified for lack for non-compliance with ITA requirements. The other application came from from Eastern Cape’s Histoprox (Pty) Ltd. No licence application was received in respect of the Northern Cape. The council’s ultimate decision was that that Histotrim (Pty) Ltd and Histoprox (Pty) Ltd be awarded licences.

 

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As the country and the world mourns the passing of the first democratically elected Former President Nelson Mandela, a number of international broadcasters will be descending into our shores for full coverage of the funeral.

 

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa hereby advises all broadcasters to ensure that they have requisite radio frequency spectrum and type-approval licences when covering the upcoming state funeral of Former State President Nelson Mandela.

 

For the coverage of international special events, broadcasters usually bring communications equipment such as Satellite News Gathering (SNG) to relay their broadcasts to their respective international audiences.

 

The SNGs require a radio frequency spectrum licence to be allocated for this purpose and some video cameras with microphones and a wireless capability needs type-approval to ensure that there are no reported cases of interference with licensed services. The type-approval label has to be attached to the communication equipment.

 

In covering the funeral of the Former President, all international broadcasters will have to go through this standard licensing process for compliance purposes; and when a radio frequency spectrum licence is issued, the licensee is obliged to show it to ICASA inspectors as they continue to conduct routine monitoring and compliance duties.

 

The Authority’s website (www.icasa.org.za) has a dedicated link for Special Events licence application forms to enable international broadcasters to apply for requisite licence to cover such events. It should be noted that Special Events licences generally take two (2) days to be issued but the Authority will do everything to expedite such applications.

 

 

[Source:ICASA]

 

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