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IRIS 2012-3:1/13

Bulgaria

Postponement of Analogue Television Broadcasting

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Rayna Nikolova

New Bulgarian University

On 29 December 2011, a change was made to the Electronic Communications Act (SG, No 105/29.12.2011, in effect since 29 December 2011). Terrestrial analogue television broadcasting in the Republic of Bulgaria will be suspended on 1 September 2013 (see IRIS 2008-4/13).

Thus, this again enables television broadcasters who have not participated in the competition and have no programme licences (these licences exist according to § 5 of the Transitional and Final Provisions of the Electronic Communications Act - ECA) to claim, within the next 20 months, unfair competition against those that have licences and are supervised by the media regulator.

Within three months of the enforcement of this Act, the Council of Ministers shall adopt a plan for the implementation of digital terrestrial television broadcasting (DVB-T) in Bulgaria. The plan itself includes the stages, terms and conditions for the implementation of DVB-T. It provides for a set of measures to assist people with special social needs to ensure the having of equipment that allows access to radio and television programmes. The category of persons is based on criteria specified in the plan. The competent State authorities together with the undertaking that has won the multiplexes has the responsibility to put into effect the appropriate actions and procedures for informing the population about the implementation of DVB-T in the Republic of Bulgaria, within three months of the adoption of the plan. The implementation of the information measures continues until at least 30 November 2013.

The provision of § 214 of the Transitional and Final Provisions of the ECA holds that the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) shall grant a free analogue frequency for the city of Sofia to the company "TV Europe". The company was sanctioned in the year 2009 (see IRIS 2011-4/12).

References
Закон за електронни съобщения BG
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=15653
 
  Electronic Communications Act (consolidated version)