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IRIS 2012-8:1/15

Czech Republic

Transition to the Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting Completed

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Jan Fučík

Ministry of Culture, Prague

On 22 August 2012 the Czech Government approved the “Final report of the National Coordination Group for Digital Broadcasting in the Czech Republic to complete its transition to digital television broadcasts”.

The report considered the Czech Republic during its transition from terrestrial analogue television broadcasting to digital television broadcasting (DVB-T). The switchover was subject to very complex conditions within the Czech Republic of an economic, legislative, technical and geographical character. The whole transition took place in all 13 designated geographical areas within the time frame established by Government Regulation No. 161/2008 Coll. The Czech Republic also met the European Commission deadline for the disabling of terrestrial analogue television broadcasting in the course of 2012. It is among the first Central European countries with such a high terrestrial platform coverage to do so.

In the Czech Republic there are four networks for DVB-T. The first network (a multiplex attributed to the public service provider) with full coverage reached 99.9% of the population. The second and the third DVB-T multiplexes have a coverage of 99.8% and 96.3%, respectively. The fourth network’s coverage reached 22.7% of the population; it is used only in the local areas of Prague, Brno and Ostrava.

The transition to digital terrestrial television led to an increase in the range of television stations available - from 4 analogue programmes to at least 9 digital nationwide programmes and several regional programmes. The switch-off brought the long-awaited “digital dividend”, in helping towards the release of the radio frequency band to be used for the provision of other electronic communications services, such as those specifically dedicated to mobile access to broadband internet. That frequency is in the process of being prepared for auction.

The smooth completion of the switchover to DVB-T created the possibility of further development of a new generation of electronic communications that signify the development of the level of basic infrastructure needed to achieve national GDP growth and to increase competitiveness. Available frequencies also allow for the provision of terrestrial digital radio broadcasting in the bands released by the 12th television channel. The switchover has not caused significant difficulties for either television broadcasters or citizens of the Czech Republic.

Závěrečná zpráva Národní koordinační skupiny pro digitální vysílání v České republice o dokončení přechodu na digitální televizní vysílání CS
  Final report of the National Coordination Group for Digital Broadcasting in the Czech Republic to complete its transition to digital television broadcasts