The South African government has confirmed that the DTT set-top boxes it intends to subsidise will include a return path for internet connectivity.
Communication minister Dina Pulse made the announcement at the ICT Indaba Africa Conference in Cape Town.
South Africa intends to complete digital switchover by December 2013. Earlier this year, the government approved the general framework of a scheme to subsidies the provision of digital set-tops to poorer households.
The South African Communications Forum (SACF), which had been lobbying the government to include a return path in subsidised receivers, hailed the move as a “momentous decision”. Lucky Masilela, chairperson of SAFC said, “This important announcement…demonstrates the minister’s commitment and determination to bridge the digital divide and to bring the poorest of the poor into the information society.”