From Branislav Pekic in Rome
In order to boost the transition to digital terrestrial, Italy's Communications Ministry passed a new decree linked to the 2008 Budget. It establishes that the last analogue TV set in Italy will be sold in June 2009, although manufacturers will have to stop supplying analogue TV sets to distributers by the end of 2008. Also, by the end of April 2008, all analogue TVs sold in Italy will have to carry a label warning consumers that they cannot receive digital TV.
Most importantly, the date for the definite switchover has been pushed back until the end of 2012, as only 4.9 million of Italy’s 21 million TV sets were digital-ready as of this July, according to the latest available figures.
Also, Communications Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, has announced that the fund for the switchover from analogue to digital terrestrial will be increased by 50 per cent, from E40 million to E60 million.