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IRIS 2018-9:1/24


HAKOM monitors interference to domestic TV and radio signals

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Tobias Raab

Institute of European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrücken/Brussels

The Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries (HAKOM) has begun to investigate interference to Croatian radio and television signals which has its origins in Italy.

The authority had announced that it would be measuring interference in the VHF and UHF frequency bands between July and September 2018 in order to examine the effect on FM, DAB-T and DVB-T services. The investigation would cover the Adriatic coast and islands. HAKOM pointed out that the conditions for the distribution of electromagnetic waves were favourable in the summer months on account of the weather, which meant that the problem of interference from Italy was exacerbated during that period. As well as carrying out measurements, the authority was conducting bilateral talks and international negotiations, which had resulted in the most problematic transmitters in some Italian regions being switched off in the previous year. This had put a stop to most of the Italian interference and had significantly improved the reception of Croatian channels in digital regions D5, D7, D8 and D9.

However, the interference had not been completely eliminated by the closure of these transmitters. In order to facilitate the future reorganisation of digital television in Croatia and create the possibility of new mobile communications networks in the 700 MHz band, HAKOM thought that the remaining interference should be stopped. However, no agreement had yet been reached with Italy regarding this matter. It was true that, at a multilateral meeting held in October 2017 under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Italian representatives had agreed to draft a plan and submit it to the ITU and neighbouring countries. In June 2018, however, it transpired that they had not yet taken any action.

According to Croatian figures, over the previous nine years, more than 4 500 complaints had been made to the Italian authorities from the Republic of Croatia. The ITU, which is responsible for the implementation of international agreements in the field of electronic communications, was also notified of the current situation. Although HAKOM has committed itself to eliminating the remaining interference by carrying out measuring procedures and international activities, its power to act is limited because the signals in question originate in other countries.

HAKOM press release of 9 July 2018 EN