Government will officially move ahead with encrypted set-top boxes: report

Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has confirmed that government will officially move ahead with its plans for encrypted set-top boxes after a long protracted battle in bringing the boxes to market.

Speaking to BusinessDay, Dlodlo’s spokeswoman, Phumla Williams, said on Monday that the department would implement ANC policies, which supported encryption.

“The minister has made it clear she will implement ANC policies. If she finds that the current policies are not consistent with the ANC policy [on encryption] she will take it back to [the] Cabinet,” said Williams.

Dlodlo’s confirmation follows a Constitutional Court challenge by former communications minister Faith Muthambi last week, in which the court held that STB policy making was the government’s prerogative and that the ultimate decision to use encrypted or un-ecrypted STBs lay in its hands.

Set-top boxes (STBs) decode digital signals for analogue television sets and government plans on subsidising five million poorer households as part of a broadcast migration process.

Government has repeatedly missed a number of deadlines in bringing the boxes to market, notably the International Telecommunications Union deadline to switch its signal to digital in 2015.


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Government will officially move ahead with encrypted set-top boxes: report