Italian consumers question RAI encryption

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

Italian consumers association Altroconsumo has lodged a complaint to the country's Communications Authority (Agcom), the Antitrust Authority, and to the European commissioners for Competition and the Information Society, regarding the issue of encryption of the satellite broadcasts of Italian public broadcaster RAI.

According to Altroconsumo, in the period between April 16 and June 21, more than 1.8m Italian TV viewers equipped with satellite receivers were not able to watch some 357 programmes (including at least 18 news bulletins) aired on the Rai Uno, Rai Due and Rai Tre channels. Also, as of July last year, RAI is not making available on digital satellite, even partially, the public service channel Rai 4, which can be received exclusively via digital terrestrial.

The independent consumers association wants the AgCom to intervene by opening an inquiry in order to guarantee the public broadcasting service. Altroconsumo is also requesting that AgCom verifies press reports regarding the Nagra encryption technology adopted by the new DTH platform Tivu Sat, to be used by RAI, Mediaset and Telecom Italia Media from August 1. According to reports due to the new encryption technology more than 6.4m decoders present in Italian households will not be able to receive the content aired on the new platform.

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