Following a successful feasibility study in 2015, the Solomon Islands’ national radio broadcaster, SIBC, is planning to launch a new public television service.
SIBC street sign. Image: SIBC
SIBC street sign. Image: SIBC

The long overdue move marks the first time that the islands have had access to a public television service since 2011, when its first free-to-air service ceased operations as a result of rising production costs.

Now, with ministerial support, the Directors of the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) have initiated a drive to launch the new station with a pilot channel by June 2016. This will allow SIBC to train staff and establish a presence in the TV market.

Based on the success of the pilot phase and the completion of the project plan, it is hoped that the Prime Minister will provide funding for a full service in the 2017 budget.

The initiative will be assisted by Australia and New Zealand, and led by Gregory Drummond, a consultant from Telemedia Consulting Ltd with extensive broadcasting experience.

Once launched it is hoped that the new public television service will reach 50% of the Solomon Island’s population within the first five years and other population centres soon after.

If successful, the Solomon Islands will join the growing number of Pacific countries to introduce a new public broadcasting service in recent years.

You can find out more about the feasibility study’s background from PMA member Radio New Zealand

By Kristian