The Autorità per le garanzie nelle comunicazioni (AGCOM) published the new regulations for the handing over of additional DTT frequencies, the so-called digital dividend.
In its resolution the Authority also took into account the contributions made by various operators during the prior consultation process. As requested by some contributors, the Authority now provides that the general authorization as per Section 25 of the Electronic Communications Code can be requested also after having the relevant frequencies adjudicated.
Furthermore, the participants to the bid process will no longer be required to produce “binding” agreements with the content providers. Despite this additional degree of flexibility, content to be distributed and editorial plans will remain a relevant element for determining the ranking.
Pluralism is in principle safeguarded through the obligation for certain operators to assign 40% of multiplex capacity to third party independent content providers. To this end the main operators will now have to publish their offer for making available DTT capacity. Such information will no doubt be of help in assessing current market conditions. At the same time, new networks operators will also be granted the possibility to make use of existing networks at cost.
As for the DVB-H frequencies, they can also be used for the innovative DVB-T2 technique (while DVB-T still remains excluded). This also in light of the limited demand for DVB-H distribution.
The frequencies that will be assigned are determined by the Ministry for Economic Development (Ministero per lo sviluppo economico). Bid winners will be requested to ensure a coverage of at least 80% of the population within 5 years from the frequencies assignment. Frequencies trading prohibitions have also been confirmed (with some noteworthy exceptions), and same for the overall threshold of 5 DVB-T multiplexes.
This could be a substantial opportunity for newcomers, and its exploitation will also depend on the subsequent implementation by the Ministry. Please contact me, Giangiacomo Olivi (firstname.lastname@example.org), if you want to know more about this topic!