The Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBC-J) will become available to viewers islandwide come October this year.
Currently, the station, which is up and running 24 hours per day, seven days a week, is accessible across 60 per cent of the island, covering most of the Corporate Area and other urban centres including Spanish Town, Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Mandeville.
A must-carry channel
Leighton Thomas, chief executive officer of PBC-J, said since the station is "a must-carry channel", every cable operator is required to have it as part of its offerings to customers. Refusal to comply will have consequences, he warned.
"There is a penalty for those outlets that refuse to carry the station. As a must-carry station, it is a part of their licence that they hold to operate a cable-operating system," he said.
The penalties will be based on recommendations by the Broad-casting Commission, which will, in turn, refer the matter to the ministry of information, culture, youth and sport, which will hand down a ruling. Penalties can go as far as revocation of licences.
Thomas said the PBC-J is ready for transition to digital technology in the form of high-definition television and other forms of digital expression. The process is under way in many jurisdictions of the world.