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IRIS 2009-4:13/18

Croatia

Rules on the Switchover to Digital Broadcasting

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Nives Zvonarić

Agencija za elektroničke medije, Novo Cice

The Rules on the Switchover of Radio and TV Programmes from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting and on Granting Access to Positions in a DTT Multiplex have been adopted pursuant to Article 96, paragraph 4 and Article 125, paragraph 3 of the Law on Electronic Communications.

The Rules stipulate that during the transition period (which expires on 31 December 2010, see IRIS 2008-9:14) the broadcasters may simulcast TV programmes in analogue technology and radio and TV programmes in digital technology, provided that the technical conditions allow. The current TV broadcasters’ analogue TV signal coverage is to be replaced by the digital one, the transmission of TV programmes in analogue technology is to be gradually switched off and the conditions for the usage of the digital dividend ensured. After the expiry of the transition period, the radio and TV programmes in terrestrial broadcasting shall be transmitted in digital technology only.

The overall transmission capacity of a multiplex may be divided to carry several separate radio or TV channels as well as other digital data. The number of radio and TV channels and the number and type of other services to be carried within a multiplex shall be determined by the Croatian Agency for Post and Electronic Communications. During the digital switchover procedure, the Agency shall ensure that it reserves the necessary capacity within DTT multiplexes for current TV broadcasters who were already transmitting their TV programmes in analogue technology.

The conditions for the analogue switch-off are to be ensured in compliance with the relevant regional switchover plan.

A network operator shall provide for the coverage of the digital TV signal on the basis of a licence to use the radio frequency spectrum allocated for digital broadcasting. It shall be considered appropriate if the following conditions are fulfilled:

- The coverage by the digital TV signal of PSB must reach 95 % of the Croatian population, and access to it via terrestrial, satellite or cable networks must be available to anyone who pays the radio and TV licence fee;

- The coverage of the population by the digital TV signal of the current TV broadcasters shall not be less than the coverage by its analogue TV.

The digital TV user base shall be considered established in any region where the transition procedure is being carried out if the following conditions are fulfilled:

- The public has been sufficiently informed on the actions to be taken before the digital TV signal can be received,

- The public has been sufficiently informed on the important dates relevant to the beginning of the digital terrestrial TV broadcasting and the switch-off of the analogue one.

Following the fulfilment of the conditions for the transition of TV programmes, the current TV broadcasters are obliged to immediately submit to the Agency the relevant licences to transmit radio or TV programmes, which had been issued in accordance with regulations applicable before the coming into force of the Law on Electronic Communications, so that they can be cancelled.

A producer, his authorised representative or a dealer of digital receivers who distributes them in the Croatian market shall be obliged to clearly and transparently display their technical specifications, whether on the receiver, on its packaging or in its user manual, according to the Ordinance on the Technical Specifications of Digital Receivers, issued by the Agency. The technical specifications must in particular contain information on the type of services receivable, the frequency band and the manner of the signal reception as well as the signal encoding and compression norms.

References
- HR
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=9658
 
  Rules for the Switchover from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting of Radio and Television Programmes and for Granting Access to Positions in a DTT Multiplex, “Official Gazette” No. 148/08      
- HR
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=9658
 
  Law on Electronic Communications, “Official Gazette” No. 73/08      
- HR
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=9658
 
  Decision on the Beginning of the Digital Switchover and the Switch-off of Analogue Broadcasting of Television Programmes in the Republic of Croatia, “Official Gazette” No. 73/08