An estimated 40 per cent of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina could be left in the dark after the digital switchover on June 17th.
The country has not yet completed the first phase of the project when the public broadcasters for each entity were meant to synchronize their networks and their equipment. An estimated €3 million was allocated by the state to purchase equipment, but it ended up being installed only by BHRT, the broadcaster serving the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
For its part, RTRS, serving the entity of Republika Srpska, has not installed the equipment, claiming that it is not clear who owns it and that there are no legal grounds for the introduction of DTT.
As the first phase has not been completed, Bosnia’s Council of Ministers has blocked the previously planned €18 million for the second phase of the project. As a result it now seems likely that Bosnia and Herzegovina will not complete the ASO within the set deadline.
Meanwhile, in neighbouring Serbia, the State Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Tatjana Matic, has confirmed that the ASO will be fully completed by the June 15th deadline, when all analogue transmitters will be shut down. TV viewers in Serbia will be able to receive a minimum of ten DTT channels, both national and local.