The decision by Brazil on its digital format could influence the future of telecommunications and technological development in all of Latin America, says Nestor Busso, of the NGO, Latin American Association of Radio Education (Aler).
An Argentine activist, Busso, speaking at the 6th World Social Forum, says the Brazilian decision should take into consideration the question of Latin American integration.
"The decision on digital technology should be political. The best thing would be to create a Latin America format," he says.
Busso is part of a Latin American movement in favor of democratization and human rights in the areas of communications and information.
He declares that "it would be a great loss, a shame," for Brazil to adopt the American digital format.
"If we [Latin America] had out own common technology we could easily produce and exchange content without being invaded by content that comes from outside," he said.
Busso warns that a quick decision is necessary. The American format is already making progress in South America. In Argentina, for example, he says, commercial broadcasts are already on the air using the American format.
In conclusion, Busso points to what is happening in Spain where it has arbitrarily been decided that analog broadcasts will cease in 2009 and all transmissions after that will be digital.
Meanwhile, minister of Communications, Hélio Costa, has announced that Brazil will make its choice on its digital format next month. The ministry has also announced that the country will not develop its own digital technology.
Brazil will choose among three existing formats: the American (ATSC), the Japanese) and the European (DVB).