Italy’s Communications Authority (AgCom) has unanimously approved the final version of the regulations for the DTT frequency auction.
According to a statement by the regulator, the measure will now be forwarded to the Ministry of Economic Development, which is entrusted with the task of approving the invitation to tender and managing the process.
The new measure introduces a number of changes compared to the scheme approved in November 2012, submitted to public consultation between stakeholders and the subject of an ongoing, in-depth dialogue with the European Commission. Frequencies that make up the three national DTT networks, with a right of use for twenty years will be offered in the auction.
To meet the objective of ensuring a greater degree of competition and pluralism, as also requested by the European Commission, the regulation will allow competition for all three lots (L1, L2, L3) only to new entrants or small operators (i.e. holding one multiplex) and two lots to operators already in possession of two multiplexes. Integrated operators, active on other platforms with a market share of over 50 per cent in the pay-TV sector, can only compete for a single multiplex. Excluded from participation in the auction are operators who hold three or more DTT multiplexes, such as RAI, Mediaset and Telecom Italia Media.
With a view to efficient spectrum management and future development of LTE services, the Authority decided to exclude from the process frequencies from lot U with a five-year licence, as provided in the first draft of the provision. Via this measure, the regulator aims to improve the re-organisation and planning of the national frequency resources allocated to DTT and thereby solve some problems in the short to medium term.