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Italy wants more time to give up 700 MHz band

Italy is seeking more time for broadcasters to give over the 700 MHz frequency band for mobile broadband use.

In its opinion on the European Commission’s proposal for the use of the 470-790 MHz UHF band, Italy’s Senate stated that the final deadline of 2020 appears “overly stringent” and proposes extending it to 2022.

During a parliamentary hearing, Italian broadcasters association Confidustria Radio Televisioni stressed the need of a transition process with the participation of both operators and neighbouring countries, particularly France which is more advanced in this process than Italy.

According to the broadcasters, the EC proposal does not take into account the role and importance of DTT in Italy, which is the only free-to-air offer for 18 million households out of 24 million.

In their view, “a non-gradual and uncoordinated technological change would force operators to review their business and financial plans, while families would have to sustain the costs of a new technological switch-off”.

In the opinion of Confidustria Radio Televisioni, the vacating of the 700 MHz frequencies should be postponed to 2025.

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