Despite early preparations and Shs 132 bn injected into the digital migration process its quite evident that all is not in place and there is now an imminent threat of Uganda failing to meet the ITU set deadline for digital migration, necessitating the country using Pay tv infrastructure to get ahead.
The process was entrusted to the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation Uganda (UBC) but progress has been slow and as at now only the greater Kamapla which covers areas such as Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono, Luweero, Mpigi and some parts of Mityana is ready to migrate.
The Observer reports that inorder for the whole country to migrate they will have to deploy digital terrestrial transmitters all over the country and they are not there according to Bunya West MP Vincent Bagiire.
“It is unfortunate that we are not yet ready yet we invested too much money,” said Bagiire, who chairs the parliamentary committee on Information and Communication Technology.
In 2011, cabinet approved a policy that spelt out the roles of various stakeholder with government tasked with puting in place the enabling policy, legal as well as regulatory framework while private broadcasters were to work on developing digital content and processing it as the public geared towards required to purchase set top boxes or integrated digital TV receivers in order to receive digital terrestrial transmissions.
Despite roping in Huawei to help in delivering its mandate the project delayed and the National Information Technology Authority, and Uganda Communications Commission have since advised that UBC was unable to deliver which made the committee ask for second entity to help UBC.
“All the recommendations that we made then were shelved and this is how we have ended up. The executive did not take our recommendations since they were advisory,” Bagiire said.
Now the ICT committee, recommends that under the circumstances UBC will need to utilize the infrastructure set up by Star Times and GO TV as they already offer digital television services.
“We have talked to all the parties and they agreed to it. We have to get ready,” Bagiire said