BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, May 28 (Xinhua) — Brunei chaired on Wednesday the special ASEAN Digital Broadcasting (ADB) meeting as it serves as a platform for ASEAN member states to share knowledge and experiences, and formulate plans to facilitate the adoption and implementation of digital terrestrial broadcasting.

Haji Mohd Rozan, permanent secretary (media and cabinet) at the Prime Minister’s Office of Brunei said in his opening remark that media can play an important and catalytic role in creating a meaningful ASEAN Community where public broadcasters have kept the audiences informed, bonding the communities and shaping culture and identity.

He pointed out that the information sector has helped ASEAN to connect each other beyond the border lines, bride cultural gaps and articulate the benefits of regional integration in the road towards the establishment of the ASEAN Community in 2015.

“In this meeting, by developing common specifications among ASEAN member states, we can benefit from economies of scale and will help to lower the cost of digitalization that is the cost of set-top boxes for consumers,” said Haji Mohd Rozan.

“With digital broadcasting promising to provide the public with better viewing experiences together with the right content, the media can ensure that programs will be more engaging to our audiences. Thus it is very important we leverage on each other’s strengths and develop content that appeals to our audience,” he added.

Progress has been made in the ADB project since it started 12 years ago and all ASEAN nations are moving towards achieving one target that is to modernize the broadcasting environment in the respective country and the ASEAN region.

“We are now in the stage of preparing the transition from analogue to digital transmission as mandated by our ministers responsible for information of the ASEAN member states to switch off our analogue signal within 2015 to 2020,” Haji Mohd Rozan said.

“This presents another key challenge that is how we address consumers concern for acquiring the digital receiver or set-top box (STB) for some 67 million households in ASEAN. The availability of STBs with affordable price is indeed a prime concern for us in ASEAN in order to speed up the digital take up rates so that every member state can meet the deadline.”

Haji Mohd Rozan remains optimistic and confident that through this meeting, it will be able to achieve the goal to bring ASEAN to a bright future in broadcasting.

The meeting, co-chaired with Singapore, was attended by delegates from ASEAN member states including the host country Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Vietnam and the ASEAN Secretariat.

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