ASEAN Digital Broadcasting Underway



Alhamdulillahirabbil ‘alamiin wassalatu wasssalaamu ‘ala asyrafil anbiya e walmursalaiin sayyidina muhammadin wa’ala ‘alihi wasahbihi ajmma’in

Yang Mulia, Awang Haji Muhammad Suffian bin Haji Bungsu,
Director of RTB as Chairman of Organising Committee;

Yang Mulia, Awang Mawardi bin Haji Mohamad,
Acting Director of Information Department as Chairman of Sub-Committee on Information – Brunei Darussalam;

Distinguished ASEAN delegates, representatives of ASEAN Member States, ASEAN Secretariat officials, invited guests, media partners, ladies and gentlemen;

Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarkatuh and a very good morning

It is my great pleasure and honour to welcome all of you the distinguished delegates and participants to Brunei Darussalam to the First Meeting of the SOMRI Working Group on ASEAN Digital Broadcasting (WG-ADB);

I would like to take this opportunity to extend a very warm welcome and deep appreciation to all delegates from ASEAN member states for taking their valuable time in attending this significant meeting;

I do hope all of you will have a very comfortable and enjoyable stay in Brunei Darussalam – the Abode of Peace and be able to spend some time to discover the beauty of our country and observe the real life of Bruneians;

Last year, at the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information (AMRI) meeting in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, the working mechanisms for Senior Officials Meeting Responsible for Information (SOMRI) was discussed and the Terms of Reference was been agreed by AMRI.

Three new mechanisms or working group were established under the auspicious of SOMRI which include this ADB Working Group that shall act as the technical working resource group responsible for the recommendation and implementation of the measures and initiatives related to digital broadcasting, that will focus on, but not limited to, the following: 

  • Study, share and recommend the latest development of digital broadcasting initiatives, regulation and standards;
  • Coordinate with other sectors concerned on radio frequency for digital broadcasting;
  • Exchange views and share best practices on digital broadcasting strategies;
  • Monitor the progress of digital broadcasting industry and its development in ASEAN; and
  • Mobilise resources to implement projects and capacity building initiatives. 
Just to reiterate for the benefit of this meeting that the establishment of three Working Groups (WG) under SOMRI, are:
  • WG on ASEAN Digital Broadcasting (ADB)
  • WG on Content and Production
  • WG on Information, Media and Training (including new media)
Brunei Darussalam is indeed honoured to be the chair for the first Working Group-ASEAN Digital Broadcasting.

Today, we gather here to meet and discuss on the Working Group on ADB. I sincerely hope that our two-day meeting will develop innovative and fruitful ideas for consideration and implementation in the coming future. 

Distinguished delegates,

Digitalisation had brought significant evolvement and challenges to the broadcasting policy and technology industry. The development of multi delivery platforms has impacted considerably on the distributions of contents and information that have become an opportunity to the broadcasters which may be imperative for this WG to discuss. The availability of multiple platforms should be regularly utilised to inform the public and to bridge gaps on the aims of developmental efforts, as well as to bring them together in the establishment of a strong ASEAN community.

The new media, which includes smartphones, smart TV, internet, and various media applications, have nevertheless created some concerns for broadcasters to re-strategize with relevant authorities and dialogue partners. One good example is the issue of frequency spectrum re-allocation that may deprive future broadcasting development after ASO timeline.

Hence, this meeting may be the relevant platform to address the concerns.

Distinguished delegates,

We are very pleased to note that since the ADB cooperation initiative started in 2003, every AMS has established concrete digitalisation roadmap and target ASO timelines within the year 2015 to 2020. Such strategy will encourage our people to embrace fully the digitalisation efforts and enjoys its benefits as well as positively impacting the quality of life and progress of the society.

We are also very pleased to note that our former ADB Cooperation Initiative has marked significant achievements which include, among others:
  • AMRI endorsing the guidelines for ASEAN Digital Switch-Over serve as a blueprint to aid all Member States in their transition;
  • The establishment of ASO timeline between 2015 – 2020 within ASEAN;
  • The Minimum technical specifications of DVB-T2  set-top box; and
  • The High definition TV programme production namely ‘Colours of ASEAN’.
Distinguished delegates,

2015 is a very significant year for ADB as this year marks the start of ASO timeline realisation. This year and the next five years ahead is definitely a very challenging time for us to ensure our goal to fully migrate to digital terrestrial television broadcasting is met. I am pleased to note that in this meeting, every AMS will continually update each other on respective digital switchover/ analogue switch-off plan.

Distinguished delegates,

As members of this Working Group, we share the duty to identify and propose appropriate initiatives and projects in line with our TOR that would contribute to the ease of disseminating information and programme production in our broadcasting community.

The fast growing digital technology and facilities has paved ways to lower the costs of programme production and more importantly to further foster creativity and innovativeness in digital production. Thus, the wealth of ideas of our producers and engineers can be nurtured and encouraged through the availability of such strong technological and sound policy supports such as capacity building programmes via solid connections with our sister Working Groups.

Distinguished delegates,

I am also pleased to note that there will be an open session whereby the industry players shall update specifically on digital radio broadcasting and audio technology development; and also to share their experiences and expertise on such subject.

I encouraged all of you to take this knowledge-enrichment opportunity to further explore on its benefits and prospects.

I personally believe that this is a good avenue for all AMS members to explore digital radio broadcasting as we have achieved much success with digital terrestrial television broadcasting.

This, digital radio technology, is one of the quick wins that we can embrace; and also a cheaper means for broadcasters to recapture our audience and to realise the ASEAN Communication Master Plan where “ASEAN: A Community of Opportunities.”

I hope that we can continue to consider inviting other industry players or dialogue partners in the future meetings to generate and establish, among others, networks and new ideas as well as discussion on funding supports to mobilise future initiatives and projects.

Distinguished delegates,

 In conclusion, I would like to express my utmost appreciation and profound thanks to the ASEAN Secretariat and the Organizing Committee for their hard work to bring this meeting a success and achieve its objectives.

I wish you all have a successful time of discussion, engagement and deliberations as well as enjoyable stay in our capital city - Bandar Seri Begawan.

With the kalimah Bismillahirrahmanirrahim, I declare The First Meeting of the SOMRI Working Group on ASEAN Digital Broadcasting (WG-ADB) open.

Thank you for your kind attention.


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