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IRIS 2019-2:1/16

Italy

New measures provided for by the 2019 Budget Law governing the 700 MHz frequencies band repurposing and the transition from DVB-T to DVB-T2

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Ernesto Apa & Marco Bassini

Portolano Cavallo & Bocconi University

On 30 December 2018 the Italian Parliament passed the 2019 Budget Law, which contains a variety of provisions affecting the legal framework applicable to electronic communications. In particular, the law has introduced some amendments to relevant norms of the Law no. 205 of 27 December 2017 (2018 Budget Law) governing the reframing of the 700 MHz frequencies band and the transition of digital terrestrial television from DVB-T to DVB-T2 standard.

The law delegates to the Italian Communication Authority (AGCOM) and the Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) the responsibility to adopt the resolutions establishing the criteria and the modalities for the implementation of this process.

First of all, the 2019 Budget Law repealed the provision stating that at least one third of the overall broadcasting capacity must be assigned to local broadcasting (i.e., channels that do not have a nationwide distribution, only available in a specific portion of the Italian territory).

The 2019 Budget Law provides for the allocation of additional broadcasting capacity to digital terrestrial television national network operators (i.e., the carriers with nationwide access). The relevant public tender will be launched by the MISE by 30 November 2019 in accordance with the procedure to be established by AGCOM by 30 September 2019. The law also determines the principles and criteria according to which such procedure shall be carried out.

Finally, the 2019 Budget Law has postponed some of the deadlines established by the 2018 Budget Law. This includes the deadline for the MISE to launch the procedures aimed at allocating the use rights to frequencies for the digital terrestrial television to network operators, in order to make broadcasting capacity available to local audiovisual media service providers. The procedure shall start by 30 March 2019 and be completed by 30 October 2019.

References
Legge 30 dicembre 2018, n. 145, Bilancio di previsione dello Stato per l’anno finanziario 2019 e bilancio pluriennale per il triennio 2019-2021 IT
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=19362
 
  Act n. 145 of 30 December 2018