D-Day for Russian digital broadcasting

Russia will today make a number of far-reaching decisions about its transition to digital broadcasting.

According to Kommersant, a government commission is expected to endorse a strategy entitled The development of digital broadcasting in Russia in the years 2009-2015 and a list of must-carry channels, made available to the public free of charge on a planned first multiplex.

It will also have to decide on financing for the first phase of digitalization between 2009-2011, which is expected to start with the construction of transmitters in remote parts of the Far East and Siberia.

The total cost of digitalisation is expected to be around R100 billion (2.67 billion), with 60% obtained from the federal budget and the remainder from private investors. ASO in Russia is set for a relatively late 2015.