On Tuesday, the German Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional and invalid the announcement of March 31, 2022 as the final switch-off date for the analog signal and the end of double lighting.
Double lighting refers to a transitional period in which both analogue and digital terrestrial television signals may be transmitted.
The court explained the decision also to the Minister for Communications and Digital Technologies, a deadline of October 31 2021 for registration of set-top boxes (STBs) was unconstitutional, invalid and will be overturned.
The court made those orders, following an appeal from broadcaster e.tv and two non-profit organizations, of Media Monitoring Africa and SOS Support Public Broadcasting, against the order of the High Court in Pretoria.
On October 12, e.tv filed an urgent application with the Higher Regional Court with the Be Reasoning that analog shutdown would permanently prevent millions of people who had not switched to digital TV and did not own STBs were prevented from receiving free-to-air TV on their analog TVs.
October 5th In 2021, the minister announced a registration deadline for the set-top box (STB) was October 31, 2021.
In order to receive digital broadcasts, the old analog TVs need the STB, an instrument that digital Transmissions converted to analogue transmissions so that the signal can be received on analogue televisions.
e.tv requested wide-ranging remedies, including a declaration that the minister would not be allowed to complete the digital migration process until she had fulfilled her constitutional obligations was to provide STBs to those in need.
The two NPOs were also approved as intervening applicants.
Before the Supreme Court, the plaintiffs claimed that approximately 2.58 million eligible households, including more than 8 million people, had not migrated by the date of the analog shutdown.
The Supreme Court rejected the application, forcing the complainants to turn to the Constitutional Court.
In a unanimous decision on Tuesday, Judge Nonkosi Mhlantla said it was not reasonable for procedural reasons for the minister to set the analogue shutdown date without prior notice to the industry and interested parties such as MMA and SOS to seek their views on the matter.
“As a result, the Minister’s decision to inform the public or the interested parties as to the date of the not to notify the analogue shutdown and to take into account the comments received is unlawful,” Mhlantla told the Constitutional Court on the steps taken by the minister between February 2021 and October 2021 to inform the public of the planned date of March 2022 and the need for registration with a sense of urgency.
“It would be fair and fair to implement this judgment Minister to set analogue shutdown date to conform with legality rules,” Mhlantla said.
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