In a briefing to industry on Tuesday 14 November, ICASA announced that they will be concentrating on the following broadcasting activities in the short-term:
- Monitoring coverage of local government elections
- Revising the frequency plan
- SABC restructuring
- Licensing of satellite operators
- Study on the feasibility of subscription broadcasting
- Local content inquiry
- Fast-tracking the licensing of four-year community radio
In the next financial year (April 2001 onwards) ICASA will focus on:
- Inquiry into sports rights
- Inquiry into ownership policies and empowerment
- Viability studies into the licensing of additional commercial radio in small cities and towns and into additional television services
The workplan seems to be good news for NAB members as it includes some of the initiatives we have been urging the regulator to take, such as reviewing the ownership limitations and exploring the licensing of additional radio stations.
The fast-tracking of community radio licences will apparently be done by foregoing hearings where the applications are non-competitive and by delegating the running of hearings to committees and experts.