Rules Still Being Forged for DTV in the Philippines

Before DTV broadcasting can begin in the Philippines, the country's broadcast regulator, the National Telecommunications Commission has to develop regulations for DTV broadcasting. An article by Armand C. Ursal, vice president for engineering at Quest Broadcasting, president of the SBETP, and a director of the KBP titled "DTV-ready Philippines still lacks regulatory measures" outlined the work remaining.

Selecting a DTV standard isn't an issue. ASEAN ministers recently endorsed the DVB-T and DVB-H standards. The Philippines Technical Working Group also recommended use of the DVB standard. NTC has issued several temporary permits for DVB-T/DVB-H broadcasts, including a single frequency network trial.

Ursal's article emphasizes that broadcasters have the technical know-how, with most local broadcast engineers already trained in DTV. He said the transition to DTV is inevitable. "Soon, land travel from Manila to the Philippine summer capital of Baguio would not mean missing favorite telenovelas or variety shows. Commuters on the MRT (Metro Rail Transit) will be able to watch CNN or local news channels on their mobile phones or portable TV sets."

Ursal said, "But, first things first--we need to address spectrum allocation, network planning, implementing rules and guidelines and other regulatory concerns."