From David Del Valle in Madrid
The Ministry of Industry has decided to postpone the digital transition of 700 towns out of the 1,200 municipalities that planned to implement it by June 30, within the first phase of the analogue switch-off in the country, for lack of enough digital coverage.
As a result, only 3 million of the planned 5.6 million people will be able to receive the digital TV signals, putting the current DTT timetable into question. Four important regions -Galicia, Castilla y Leon, Andalucia and the Basque Country- are failing to meet the technical requisites for the analogue switch-off: a digital coverage similar or even higher than the analogue one and with 81.3 per cent of the population having access to DTT.
Spain’s DTT plan provides that 14.4 million people have access to DTT by the end of the year, completing the digital transition by April 3 2010. Currently, according to Impulsa TDT, DTT covers 44 million homes (94.83 per cent of the population), with 9.5 million homes already enjoying it (57.3 per cent), representing an average share audience of 28.7 per cent in April. In the first quarter of the year more than 2.3 million DTT units were sold reaching a total of 17.5 million devices. Out of them more than 10 million are IDTVs.