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IRIS 2012-5:1/26


Digital Transition in Motion

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Alexandros Economou

National Council for Radio and Television, Athens

The most important switch off of analogue television signal is to be held in Attica region next July (6 July 2012) according to a ministerial decision of 20 March 2012. This operation is expected to enhance the legislative level that has been ceased since the publication of the first co-ministerial decision on the digital switchover (see IRIS 2008-9/20).

In the last three months significant progress, marked by two legislative initiatives, can be observed in the institutional level. Firstly, in a provision voted in February by the Greek Parliament a timetable related to different stages of the digital switch-over operation (digital licensing procedure, date of definitive switch off : 30 June 2013) is established. All television stations that have no licence but are considered to be legally functioning up to now will continue to enjoy the same legal status only on the condition of participating in this future tender. This provision could be considered as the official response to the latest decision of the Plenary Session of the Συμβούλιο της Επικρατείας (the Council of State - Supreme Administrative Court of Greece) that had declared unconstitutional two legislative provisions permitting all regional television stations, which participated in the 1998 tender, to function even after an indefinite time after the publication of this tender (see IRIS 2011-1/34).

The second provision is a new version of Article 13 of Act 3592/2007 related to digital broadcasting that has been voted in 6 April 2012 by Greek Parliament and incorporated in Article 80 para. 1 element 6 of Act 4070/2012 on electronic communications. The separation of content providers and multiplex (e. g. technical) operators is being officially established, the former being licensed by the audiovisual regulatory authority (Εθνικό Συμβούλιο Ραδιοτηλεόρασης, National Council of Radio and Television), the latter using digital frequencies to be allocated under auctions conducted by the telecommunications regulatory authority (Eθνική Επιτροπή Τηλεπικοινωνιών και Ταχυδρομείων, Hellenic Communications and Post Commission). The public broadcaster ERT S. A. is excepted from licensing tender and has been allocated by ministerial decision its own frequencies.

ΚΥΑ 13971/365/20.3.2012 "Οριστική παύση ορισμένων αναλογικών τηλεοπτικών εκπομπών από το κέντρ ο εκπομπής Υμηττού" (ΦΕΚ Β' 862/20.3.2012)
  Ministerial Decision of 20 March 2012 on the switch off of analogue television signal in Attica, Official Journal B 862 of 20 March 2012      
Νόμος 4038/2012 "Επείγουσες ρυθμίσεις που αφορούν την εφαρμογή του μεσοπρόθεσμου πλαισίου δημοσιονομικής στρατηγικής 2012−2015" (ΦΕΚ Α' 14/2.2.2012).
  Law 4038/2012, Official Journal A 14 of 2 February 2012      
Νόμος 4070/2012 "Ρυθμίσεις Ηλεκτρονικών Επικοινωνιών, Μεταφορών, Δημοσίων Έργων και άλλες διατάξεις" (ΦΕΚ Α' 82/10.4.2012).
  Act 4070/2012 on electronic communications (Official Journal A 82 of 10 April 2012)