Parliament goes live on Digital T.V.

The Parliamentary sitting which commenced on Tuesday is being streamed live on the Digital TV platform through a Government channel.

The Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Tiatia Graeme Tualaulelei, confirmed this saying the session is the second sitting that has been aired live on the digital television. 

He confirmed the Legislative Assembly is not paying any costs for the channel at the moment. 

“We were given the okay by our Minister who is also the Prime Minister to livestream it,” said Tiatia. 

The Clerk was also asked about a defect in the T.V. mixer of the media room in Parliament. 

He said the mixer that controls the cameras inside Parliament had some problems but it has been repaired. 

Tiatia could not explain what caused damage to the T.V. mixer of the newly commission Parliament. 

“It won’t cost us, it is covered under the defect period that ends in March,” he said.

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“The Parliament was handed over in March and we have 12 months defect period which means that anything that needs maintenance within this period will be covered by the contractor…”  

The Government channel joins several other local broadcasters who have connected to the digital platform. 

Chairman of the Samoa Digital Communication Limited, Faamausili Andrew Ah Liki, said Government is “test driving” the digital channel. 

He said nothing is being paid at the moment until they reach a decision after their trial by end of March. 

The Chairman declined to go on the record on whether Government will pay for the channel or not until end of March. 

The tariff that was given for local broadcasters to pay per month from December is $18,000 with the fee to be reviewed after then.

Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupai, in a recent interview said the Government is yet to finalise the decision on whether to utilise the channel. 

He said the initiative was prompted when the Samoa Digital Communications company offered the channel to be free to Government. 

“But then that changed when we were told we have to pay [tariff] and that was why the Prime Minister said that [to discontinue it],” said Afamasaga. 

“The company has said again its free again. 

“So it’s being left like that for now until this is underway [digital switch] and completed then we can come back to that.” 

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