The auction for assigning of surplus Digital Terrestrial Television frequencies in Italy is likely to be postponed for two months, according to local media reports.
The previous 120-day deadline, set down in a government decree, expired on August 28th. The change of date is necessary as the new commissioners of the telecommunications regulator (AgCom) took up their posts only in July and have yet to write up the regulations for the auction.
The six DTT multiplexes, resulting from the freeing up of analogue TV frequencies, were originally supposed to have been distributed free-of-charge on a so-called “beauty contests” to existing broadcasters.
Following the change of government in Rome, the decision was made to auction off the multiplexes, earning an estimated €2-4 billion to be distributed for local broadcasters and for the expansion of broadband coverage.
In a related development, Mediaset on August 28th launched the HD version of its terrestrial TV channel Italia 1, available on channel 506 on its MDS 2 multiplex. The commercial broadcaster is also planning to launch Canale 5 HD in the coming future.