Bulgaria to Delay Analogue Switch-Off over DTT Assistance
Bulgaria's government will seek to extend, yet again, the deadline for the analogue switch-off, set for September 1, 2013, citing delay in tenders for free DTT receivers.
Bulgaria will not switch off analogue broadcasting of television signals by the September 1 deadline, according to the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications (MTITC).
“The delay in the switch-off however does not mean a delay in the country’s transition to digital broadcasting,” Minister Georgi Todorov commented on Wednesday.
"Our main goal is to make sure that all underprivileged people receive free DTT receivers before we shut down the analogue signal,” Todorov said.
In May this year Bulgaria's telecom watchdog awarded the license for what will be the country's public service DTT multiplex to Bulsatkom company.
Bulgaria decided at the end of December 2011 to hold a tender for yet another multiplex, its seventh, a surprising last-minute decision, which local experts slammed as a mere eye- wash for Brussels, which referred the country to EU court over the assignment of digital broadcast spectrum.
The European Commission demanded that Bulgaria publish the conditions of the tender as soon as possible, so that potential new entrants can prepare their applications, be selected and enter the market before the date set for the analogue switch off, September 1 2013.
The Commission said it will monitor that the tender conditions are in line with the Directives and allow effective entry into the digital terrestrial broadcasting infrastructure market.
The seventh multiplex will be just a collection of frequencies and its holder - in a much more disadvantaged position than Hannu Pro and Towercom, which have already grabbed the lion's share of the market, according to experts.
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