Senate sets 2006 as digital TV deadline

RAI, Mediaset, Telepiu, others will start testing digital technology

Italy’s Senate has ruled that all terrestrial analog broadcasting must go digital by the end of 2006, making it the first country in Europe to fix a deadline.

In the next three years, national broadcasters –including pubcaster RAI, Mediaset’s three channels, Canal Plus’ pay TV web Telepiu and Telemontecarlo (TMC) — will be allowed to acquire transmission networks and companies holding local broadcasting licenses to test digital technology. The big broadcasters must also offer 40% of their digital transmission capacity to new players, still to be defined by future legislation.

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