Romania approves digital TV act

By Iulia Blaga

    The Romanian Government has approved the act that regulates the move toward digital television. It allows the National Authority for Readjustments in Communications (ANCOM, www.anrcti.ro) to initiate the procedure for assigning of the first two licenses. The act stipulates the conditions, the licence fees and the procedure to be followed.

    The act states that the winners of the first two digital multiplexes will be chosen through a competitive selection process by July 30, and the other four digital multiplexes will be chosen by October 31. With the first two multiplexes Romanians will be able to receive 14 digital TV channels free of charge.

    The first two licences will cover 50% of the territory and 60% of the population by June 30, 2011. Both of the licences will cover 70% of the territory and 80% of the population by the end of 2011, and 80% of the territory and 90% of the population by 2012.

    The licence fees range between 1 and 2.5 million euro. There are some 1.4 million homes in Romania with terrestrial antenna (23% of the population) and 400,000 homes with no TV reception at all.