The European Commission has given a status report on the switch-off of analogue TV services, in the process indentifying Romania as the only member state that has failed to notify Brussels of its plans.
Analogue switch-off has already been completed in five member states (Germany, Finland, Luxembourg, Sweden and the Netherlands). The Commission says that it expects the 2012 EU target to be met by almost all of its member countries. In addition to laggard Romania, Poland is not anticipating the final analogue transmissions will be switched off until 2015.
Digital TV services are available in 21 countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Slovenia, UK) with five more (Cyprus, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, and Slovakia) anticipating commencing DTV by 2010.
Despite the apparent hold ups, Viviane Reding, EU Telecoms and Media Commissioner, said the switchover was going according to plan. “I am confident that in the next two years more EU countries will join the first group of switched countries in the digital era. This means that an important amount of fresh spectrum will become available for new TV and wireless services – if Europe makes the right decisions quickly. Coordinated decisions on the use of the so-called digital dividend are key to Europe’s swift economic recovery.”
Austria, Estonia, Denmark, Spain, Malta and Slovenia are all scheduled to complete ASO by 2010.