The European Commission has instructed Italy to change its rules governing the broadcast of digital television signals of face the possibility of a substantial fine. Italy has already run into trouble over its subsidy programme that was designed to promote the take-up of digital television services.
The Commission says that rules covering the transition from analogue to digital broadcasts give an unfair advantage to the incumbent broadcasters. “The current Italian legislation might preclude operators who are not active in analogue transmissions from experimenting with digital transmissions and from creating their own digital networks,” said a commission statement.
Italy was first notified over the rule change in July 2006 following complaints from consumer groups. More recently, concerns have been expressed by private broadcasters who believe the private broadcaster Mediaset and the public broadcaster RAI are sitting on frequencies for the purpose of launching high definition services.