War on ‘BelSat’ Continues
The authorities are going to do the following: the city dwellers are proposed to replace dishes with cable and terrestrial TV. It is surprising, but there hasn’t yet been any concrete order to remove the dishes. But the authorities are planning how to do it: during repair works.
The tag line is that the channels available via satellite TV aren’t controlled by anybody, but the channels which were proposed for replacement are approved by the Ministry of Information. It decides what is worthy of showing to the watchers of cable and terrestrial TV and what is not. Moreover, it is the business that can’t be run via a dish.
Viktar Halinouski, head of the City development and sanitary department at the Brest City Executive Committee, said to «Euroradio», the ‘choice’ proposed to people was really terrestrial and cable TV: ’There are two cable operators in the city. They have already constructed the systems of community reception. They are situated in the districts Uskhod, Kavaliouka and Vulka. More systems are being constructed. So, the problem will be solved. It is terrestrial-cable TV. But it is the same! Brest houses have 6-8 dishes on a roof, directed to different sides. Signal goes to central station and is amplified, and than goes to a subscriber via cable.’
So, Brest dwellers will have two packets of channels – a social one with 6 ‘our’ programs and a commercial one, approved by the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Communications.
The channels, proposed to people will be differed from those, available vie satellite.
Here a suspicion creeps in, whether a ban of dishes connected with undesirable for the Belarusian authorities channels. For instance it can concern BelSat, which is to start broadcasting to Belarus from Poland. Brest is an area capital situated very close to the Polish border, that’s why polish TV and radio are very poplar here. The Brest City Executive Committee admits the fact.
‘Brest is situated in the primary broadcasting area of a Polish transmitting station. In general, it is possible to watch Polish channels without special devices. If windows look to the West and there are no buildings in the line-of-sight, it is possible to receive signal with a simple room antenna. But such a channel will be absent in a system of community reception, as the Polish side needs to sign an agreement on spreading its programs on our territory. Cable TV company has such agreements with other operators, and they are approved by the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Communications.’
Lida became the first town where satellite antennas were banned. Then the rumors appeared: the authorities are testing their plan on Lida. If it works, they will do the same all over the country. Actually, the wave of bans has reached the capital. It can happen so, that the authorities are checking, now on the example of Brest, whether people will agree to watch what the state wants in spite of what they have chosen.