Regulator warns SDCL not to switch off Gov channel-9

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The Samoa Digital Communication Limited has been warned over claims that it is in “violation of license” by the Office of the Regulator.

This was confirmed in an order issued by Regulator Lematua Gisa Fuatai Purcell on 23 August 2022. The order was addressed to the Chairman of Samoa Digital Communication Tuiaopo Faamausili Andrew Ah Liki that owns and operates the digital television platform in the Country.

In her order, Lematua noted this letter serves to inform him of the Order of the Regulator No. 2022/T06 issued to Samoa Digital Communication Limited (SDCL) in violation of its license conditions granted by the Regulator as approved by the Minister.

“On the 23rd of August 2022, the Parliament of Samoa reconvened its scheduled meeting. These meetings of Parliament are of public interest and also a national program to be streamed live for all the citizens of Samoa through Government channel 9.

“However, Government channel 9 under the operation of the Ministry of Communication Information and Technology (“MCIT”) was switched off by SDCL today 23 August 2022 claiming authority it could do so.

“This has resulted in the deprivation of the people of Samoa of important matters discussed in Parliament and restricted the Government from performing its duties of accountability and transparency to the people.

“In light of the above, the Regulator upon approval of the Minister and pursuant to section 7(p) of the Broadcasting Act 2010 (“the Act”) makes the following Orders:

ORDER

“SDCL is to turn on the Government Channel 9 and honour Clause 23 of the Licence, and SDCL must not switch off the channel until such a decision of the Cabinet is determined for further need and utilization of channel 9.

“Failure to respond accordingly or to comply with this Order will result in the Office of the Regulator taking appropriate legal action for non-compliance.”