The authors submitted a comment to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) in response to the call for comment in the Discussion Document on Digital Sound Broadcasting (DSB) that appeared in South Africa’s Government Gazette No. 41534 of 29 March 2018. Consequently, the second author made an oral submission at the public hearings on this issue at the ICASA premises in Sandton on 13 July 2018. In this document, we elaborate on the thinking in our submission in response to a request in this regard from Advocate Dimakatso Qocha, the Councillor who chaired the hearing. We still intend address ourselves only to Question 1 of the Discussion Document. Is there a need for the introduction of DSB technologies in South Africa? We are convinced that there is no compelling argument for the introduction of the technology in the way apparently requested by many in the industry. We do not however oppose the liberalisation of signal distribution or a technology (and content) neutral approach to spectrum management and tradeable broadcasting and spectrum rights. If these were introduced, broadcasters would be able to decide on a purely commercial basis when and if to introduce digital broadcasts and new entry to the market would be possible through the purchase of appropriate rights.
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