The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has said it does not see a possibility for the launch of a commercial digital terrestrial television service in the Republic until after analogue switch off.
In a statement the BAI reiterated its disappointment that none of the three applicants to the 2008 licensing process had been able to bring matters to a satisfactory conclusion.
The Authority and its predecessors have been battered by the failure of successive commercial operations, including consortia led by Teracom (Boxer) and telco Eircom, to take up licence offers.
Public broadcaster RTE is now pressing ahead with plans for a two-multiplex system, covering 98% of the country, and expected to be on-air this autumn.
A review of the circumstances surrounding the failure saw all three applicants highlight the economic circumstances facing Ireland and made particular reference to the role of RTÉNL.
The Authority said that in order for a future commercial launch to proceed it would be necessary for it to engage formally with transmission services provider and to exercise a statutory mediation process in the event of disagreement on the terms of the transmission arrangements between RTÉNL and any future successful applicant.
A review of when commercial services might launch will be taken in 2011 with the possibility that the Authority might then invite expressions of interest. This means a competition could be held during 2012 with a view to a commercial multiplex going on air during 2013.