Free decoders only for lowest income group, for now

KUALA LUMPUR, Digital television decoders will only be given free to the country’s two million households from the lowest income group for now.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Digital Creation and Distribution Platform Department head Azlina Mohd Yusof said this would be the set criteria, and not whether they are recipients of the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) programme or are in the B40 group.

The reason some do not qualify for the free decoders is their household income is more than these two million people (from the lowest income group).

“Some people in the B40 group or those receiving the BSH assistance have checked only to find that they are not eligible .as the free decoders are only limited to the two million with the lowest household income,” she said when met after the Bual Bicara programme on Bernama Radio, today.

On Oct 17, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said the ministry was working to ensure more B40 low-income households receive the free digital television decoder sets.

Gobind said the ministry was still in discussions with the decoder distributor company as well as gathering information to determine eligible individuals.

The transition from analogue TV broadcast to myFreeview Digital TV will begin in the central and southern regions on Sept 30, northern and eastern regions on Oct 14 while Sabah and Sarawak will make the switch on Oct 31.

Meanwhile, Azlina said through myFreeview Digital TV viewers could enjoy up to 15 TV channels and six radio channels for free.

According to her more channels will be added in future, including several suggestions to include channels with South Korean and Indonesian movies as well as cooking channels.

MCMC has issued 15 TV content provider licences to several companies interested in adding content and improving the quality of digital TV broadcast in Malaysia.

“Probably by the end of this year we will be able to broadcast (the new channels) and two or three content providers will be launching their new content through the myFreeview platform,” she added.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)