KBP to NTC: No delay on IRR of digital broadcast

By Lenie Lectura, Business Mirror

Posted at May 27 2011 07:48 AM | Updated as of May 27 2011 03:48 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) was prompted on Thursday not to delay the issuance of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) that will usher the country’s transition from analog to digital free broadcast television.

In a statement, the Television Committee of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) said the IRR serves as a guide to the conversion of analog TV to digital. Without the rules, industry players could not fully start the shift to digital TV, the statement added.

For now, industry players are preparing for the new technology but “they will need the ground rules before they can convert to digital broadcast,” said Atom Henares, committee chairman.

“The shift to digital will not only give Filipinos a better viewing experience with superior clarity in image and sound, but also more choices on free-to-air tv,” he added.

Free broadcast TV, or noncable households, comprise 90 percent of the total 17-million TV households in the country. With digital TV, each existing TV frequency in the country will be able to air up to eight free-TV channels each. This means the country could have 176 total channels from its existing 22 TV frequencies.

The NTC decided in the middle of last year that the Philippines will use the Japanese Integrated Services Digital Broadcast and targets to come up with the IRR on its nationwide adoption next month.