ANACOM accused of mishandling Portuguese switchover

November 5, 2013 10.09 Europe/London By Julian Clover

AnacomPortuguese regulator ANACOM has defended itself against charges that it mismanaged the transition to digital television, saying it did everything possible.

Consumer champion DECO says the regulator should have ensured a continuity of reception, at an affordable price, and provide information to consumers. But failed at all three.

“The poor quality of service is a reflection of all the current failings: the regulator made a few measurements before total shutdown and concentrated on the coast, harming the rural population, most in need of a television service. Despite the actions after the switch-off, consumers continue to complain about the poor signal they receive in their homes,” DECO said in a statement.

ANACOM said the migration to DTT was a technically complex process, pointing to its direction of operator PT Comunicações to improve the network, which resulted in the installation of new transmitters and further initiatives.

It also made clear that DECO was heavily involved in the transition: “Throughout the process, DECO worked in partnership with ANACOM, bringing information to the population about the migration process: ensuring people knew what to do, what equipment they needed, and that people knew there was more than one type of coverage and about the available subsidy programmes.”

ANACOM said it had contributed €75,000 to a scheme that had seen DECO conduct 100 information sessions around the country.

DECO was one of the entities that took part in the Grupo de Acompanhamento da Migração para a Televisão Digital (Digital Television Migration Monitoring Group); chaired by ANACOM hand set up to oversee the switchover process.