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Realism finally descends on Italy’s digital plans

by David Mercer | 10月 02, 2007

Italy's Telecommunications minister, Paolo Gentiloni, has announced that the country's analogue switch-off date will now be 2012. This compares to the current official plan to complete the digital transition by next year, which was always highly improbable. Back in 2000 we wrote: "Italy continues to bemuse outsiders. Decision-making is still geared towards satisfying ever-changing political priorities, rather than developing coherent long-term strategies. ...There has even been a suggestion (by the Communications Minister) that analogue switch-off could occur as early as 2003. To describe such ideas as pure fantasy would be polite." In fact, in 2000 the official "switch-off" date was announced as 2006, which remained the objective until 2006 loomed too close for comfort, and was then revised to 2008. So Italy has an impressive track record of tearing up its old digital TV plans; now realism finally appears to have taken hold. The 2012 objective should be realistic, assuming the proposal for mandated DTT tuners is formally adopted, although there is still a long way to go - half of Italian households still rely solely on analogue terrestrial TV signals. As we predicted, France's new DTT strategy has already had an impact on the rest of Europe. We will watch the details of Italy's transition plan with interest. Add to Technorati Favorites
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