Advanced Television

Italy: Millions face TV blackout

February 20, 2024

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

At least five million Italians, primarily in mountainous and rural regions, are struggling to access basic TV channels from RAI due to poor or non-existent signals. This represents nearly 10 per cent of the population, according to figures published by the National Union of Mountain Municipalities, Communities and Bodies (Uncem).

The organisation points out that the transition to digital terrestrial TV (DVB-T) has exacerbated the problem. The “refarming” of the 700 MHz band for 5G mobile telephony reduced available broadcast frequencies.

To make matters worse, the promised transition to the more efficient DVB-T2 standard, which could have mitigated the issue, has not yet happened.

Many small municipalities and hamlets lack broadband, making online streaming impossible.

The latest data from Auditel-Censis report shows that two million households lack internet connectivity at home; 5.5 million families connect solely via mobile phones; while 9 million families (36.9 per cent) lack home broadband access.

Uncem has called for urgent action by the Italian authorities to allocate funds for upgrading the existing terrestrial infrastructure or promoting the nationwide free-to-air satellite TV platform tivùsat.

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