Rome stages analogue switch-off

By Branislav Pekic | June 18, 2009

Italy’s Lazio Region, including the city of Rome, has initiated the partial switch-off of its analogue TV transmitters.
Since June 16, the national TV channels Rai Due and Rete 4, as well as the Catholic broadcaster Telepace, have been exclusively available over digital terrestrial. An estimated 4,550,000 people living in 166 municipalities are effected by the process.

This is only the first stage of the ASO, as all analogue transmitters in the region will be finally switched off between November 16 and 30 this year.
The latest market research from Makno relating to the last week of May reveals that 47% of Lazio TV households are already equipped with a DTT decoder and that DTT penetration in the Region is 10 points higher than the national average (36.5% of families). Another 20% of families are equipped with other digital reception systems (satellite, IPTV).

The Ministry of Economic Development – Department for Communications – is providing a €50 subsidy for the acquisition of DTT decoders. However, they will be available only to those aged 65 years and older who have an annual income lower than €10,000 a year and can provide proof that they have paid the TV licence fee.