Pacific Media Partnership Conference | Collaborating for Broadcasting
PMPC2016, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Mr William Duma, Hon. Minister for State Enterprises and Mr Douglas Tomuriesa, Hon. Minister for Forestry graced the occasion of the formal opening of PMPC-2016. Minister Duma mentioned that the PNG government was very committed and looking forward to long term goals of digitalisation. Representing the Prime Minister of PNG, Minister Tomuriesa said that PNG was undergoing a transformation within a single generation, from a traditional commodity economy to a modern economy.
The ABU Secretary-General emphasised the ABU’s commitment to its members and the requirement to think globally and act locally. The CEO of EMTV Mr Bhanu Sud gave a brief outlook of EMTV, its commitments and plans for digital delivery of media in PNG.
The conference was being held in Papua New Guinea for the first time, hosted by ABU member, EMTV with sponsorship from the ITU and the Australian Government.
The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, NBC, NICTA, SPREP, FM100, PACMAS, Radio Frequency Systems, Rohde & Schwarz, UNESCO and NHK were supporters of the conference.
Meet the Speakers
A session titled “The current situation in the region”, which analysed information about the status of the transition in the region was presented by ITU Expert, Mr Andrew King. He stressed the need for each administration to examine the data in the ITU Frequency Register and the Digital Switch over (DSO) Database.
Tonga – Mr Andrew Toimoana Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) provided the view from Tonga. He advised that they had now passed an update to their Communications Act, according to one of the recommendations in the ITU report and some progress had been made on other recommendations. Progress was slow and there was still caution Mr Andrew from TBC and DBN regarding Digicel. If the World Bank could fund the fibre between the island groups, this would assist switchover. Funding for the free- to-air (FTA) broadcasting remained the major challenge.
Samoa – Mr Eteuati of the Office of the Telecommunication Regulator (OOTR) provided his update about Samoa. Progress had been made on technical standards and they were currently considering how to issue a multiplex licence and what form that would take. From there, it depended on who was awarded the licence as to whether funding would be an issue. There had been a recent staff change at OOTR which had probably slowed their progress a little, but they were progressing.
PNG – Mr Kila Aluvula of National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) provided an update on the PNG situation. Many of the recommendations in ITU experts’ reports as updates to the digital road map had been considered and most implemented. The 8MHz plan had been rejected after consultation with Digicel, pay television operator from Telcos. Conversion had moved forward in the form of a Request For Proposals (RFP) issued by EMTV and was awaiting award by EMTV’s owner Telikom PNG who had apparently been instructed by the PNG government to make an award and to get the project moving, raising hope that the project will progress soon.
Micronesia – An update from the State of Yap in Micronesia was presented by Sebastian G. F. Tamagken, Chief of Media & Protocol Division, Department of Youth & Civic Affairs, Yap State Government. Their presentation indicated that they were on air in AM, FM and digital TV.
Kiribati – Mr Teannaki Tongana, CEO, Broadcasting & Publications Authority (BPA), presented an update from Kiribati. BPA were seeking to have a non-operating TV station transferred to them so they could start transmissions again. Previously this station had operated as a pay TV service but, having little content, it closed in 2012. They might seek assistance in the future if the transfer occurs and they needed funding for TV transmitter and production equipment. BPA were currently working on Line Island AM expansion.
More than 25 speakers shared their experiences. Col Dr Natee Sukonrat, Vice Chair of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission and Chair of the National Broadcasting Commission, Thailand presented two topics covering Regulatory Implications of WRC-15 and preparations for WRC-19 & WRC-23 and the current status of Digitalisation in Thailand.
Mr Nils Ahrens, Rohde & Schwarz, Australia presented many topics, including evolving new technologies such as HDR, workflows and efficient transmission technologies.
Mr Masakazu Iwaki, Head of Human Interface Research Division, Science and Technology Research Laboratories, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) presented accessibility by the disadvantaged, through technologies and services.