Advanced Television

Altice Portugal criticises regulator over DTT conduct

October 20, 2020

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

DTT network operator Altice Portugal has expressed regret that the National Communications Authority (Anacom) has opted to move forward with the frequency migration of the DTT network, accusing the regulator of “disregarding” the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Anacom president, João Cadete Matos, announced on October 19th that, due to the difficulties of displacement of technicians, the migration process will be done through remote re-tuning by Altice’s partner, German company Rhode & Schwarz.

Speaking to the Lusa news agency, an official Altice Portugal source recalled that earlier this month, Rhode & Schwarz informed that it would not allow its technicians to travel to mainland Portugal “due to the worsening of the pandemic situation in the country”.

Subsequently, Altice Portugal “alerted the responsible entities to the supplier’s restrictions, but also presented a safe alternative for the DTT migration process”, i.e. anticipating the migration of broadcasters from the Autonomous Region of Madeira from December 14-18th to October 19th-30th.

However, the regulator opted to “ignore all the technical risks” so Altice Portugal “will not accept any responsibility for poor or inadequate re-tuning”. The same source noted that the “the remote re-tuning of transmitters, without prior implementation of the risk mitigation measures identified by Altice Portugal, represents a huge risk”.

The migration of the DTT frequency, to make it available for 5G mobile telephony services, was suspended in March due to the impact of the pandemic.

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