Riau Islands commission wants to block foreign broadcasts
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The head of the Riau Islands Broadcasting Commission (KPID) wants the central government to block local reception of foreign television and radio broadcasts.
Local KPID chief Jamhur Poti said on Friday that local residents had been able to receive transmissions from Malaysia and Singapore without government oversight, to the detriment of local culture.
Jamhur said that the government should give incentives to local investors to open television and radio stations so residents of provinces bordering Malaysia and Singapore could maintain their links to Indonesian culture. “Blocking foreign broadcasts, such as television or radio programs is a government-to-government affair,” Jamhur said.
“The Riau Islands KPID has asked the Communications and Information Ministry to develop regulations that would provide incentives to investors to develop stations in border regions, but it seems that this is not yet a concern of the central government.”
According to Jamhur, only nine of 15 Indonesian national television stations were licensed to broadcast in Riau Islands, while the six other stations were broadcasting without authorization.
“Blocking the six domestic television broadcasters requires coordination with the ministry. We have not yet officially received permission from the ministry. This is related to the implementation of digital television broadcasts,” Jamhur said.
The country’s television technology is slated to switch from analog to the Digital Video Broadcasting — Second Generation Terrestrial (DVB-T2) format that is used in European countries, South Africa and Vietnam.
The International Telecommunication Union mandated that by June 17, 2015, nations must migrate from analog to digital broadcasting. Indonesia has only begun its migration this year and plans to end analog broadcasts in 2018, three years after the ITC’s deadline.
Jamhur said national and local broadcasts were needed to prevent national disintegration in coastal communities with limited access to Indonesian media.
“The local administrations should encourage the growth of local broadcasting institutions in the form of community or regional institutions,” Jamhur said.
Based on data from the Riau Islands KPID data, there are currently 20 local and national radio stations broadcasting in Riau Islands.
Jamhur said the frequencies used by Indonesian broadcasters in border areas was different from those used in other parts of the nation due to the need to share the spectrum with foreign broadcasters.