Switching the First Phase of Digital TV Transmission in Samoa as seen on the big screen infront of the Government Building last night
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 09 OCTOBER 2019: Samoa has joined the rest of the world with the launch of its official digital television transmission as part of the Digital Terrestrial Television Project which started in 2018. The first phase of digital TV broadcasting was launched by the Prime Minister infront of the Government Building last night.
The Digital TV launch will provide 70% coverage for Phase 1, 90% for Phase 2 to be completed in November 2019 and the final Phase to cover 100% in early 2020.
Tuilaepa said Government decided to go digital in 2013 and since then, the Office of the Regulator had been working on ensuring this vision becomes a reality as a positive step for Samoa’s economic development.
He also commended the Chairman of the Samoa Digital Limited Tuiaopo Fa’amausili Ah Liki for the initiative that will provide the platform for all TV stations in the country to use at a cost.
The Regulator Lefaoalii Unutoa Fonit said the project will lift the standards in the broadcasting industry by promoting coverage and providing quality transmission in terms of signal strength.
Lefaoalii said there will be 8 channels of which all 8 are Free to Air services and will use this network to access all its target audience. It also means that the level of competition is expected to foster quality programs and at appropriate costs.
Samoa as the Pacific digital hub
Digital broadcasting is part of Government’s push for Samoa to become the Pacific hub in digital technology as a first-hand chance to nurture the Samoan people to enhance and exploit digital technology for various development initiatives.
It is also a chance to give Samoan television viewers a variety of programs to enjoy, which will include special programs on culture, community and religious programs.
According to Tuilaepa, the digital platform will give all television stations a better connections and coverage throughout the country at a reasonable cost.
He made reference to 1993 when Manu Samoa won the Hong Kong Sevens, and Samoa was able to watch this game live although it was limited coverage that did not cover the whole country.
The late Prime Minister Tofilau Eti Alesana then prioritised television as a service, and Samoa has been working hard to develop this service, and last night, the first step was taken to realize it.