No Brazilian will be without digital TV, promises government

In 2018 the analogue television signal will have been turned off and, in its place, digital transmission will be in operation. This means that all analog TVs will become useless unless their owners buy adapters. The situation, which could leave many people without a television program in Brazil, does not concern the government, which is betting: everyone will be served (even if it is not yet known how).

“There is a commitment made by the government that no household that has access to the free and open TV signal will be left without the signal, after the analogue signal has been turned off,” guaranteed the Minister of Communications, Paulo Bernardo, in an interview with Digital Look.

The intention was to anticipate the shutdown of analogue TV for 2015, but for that, MiniCom would have to subsidize 8 million digital TVs for the low-income population. Even though the cut was set for 2018, which will give more time to those who need to adapt, there is still a concern with those who cannot afford to pay for a new device.

These and other questions were answered by the minister in a short interview that you can check below:

Olhar Digital: Will Brazilians be ready to switch off analogue TV in 2018?

Paulo Bernardo: There is a commitment by the government that no household that has access to the free and open TV signal will be left without the signal after the analogue signal is turned off. We are making every effort to ensure a safe and smooth transition to digital TV, even thinking about the situations of families that will not be able to afford a full set-top box to connect to their analogue TVs.

When the shutdown was scheduled for 2015, the government would subsidize 8 million digital TVs so as not to leave the low-income population with no signal. With the deadline extended to 2018 the plan remains? Is there another form of incentive under study?

The shutdown was scheduled for 2016, and all stations would shut down at once. The government understood that it would be better to carry out a gradual shutdown, as has been done in other countries. Therefore, the deadline was changed so that the shutdown occurs between 2015 and 2018. The anticipation of the shutdown for 2015 will only occur in cities where it is necessary to bid for the 700MHz band. The subsidy policy for the low-income population is still being studied at MiniCom.

Is it possible to postpone the termination until 2018?

The government works with what was defined by decree no. 8,061 / 2013, predicts a gradual shutdown between 2015 and 2018.

Are the operators satisfied with this deadline?

The feedback we have received from broadcasters has been satisfactory.

As of 2018, Brazil will have two bands focused exclusively on 4G, is there a guarantee that manufacturers will meet both? If they prefer to adopt only 700 MHz (standard in many places in the world), can the 2.5 GHz one be emptied?

There is no risk that the 2.5 GHz band will be “emptied”. The range was bid on in June 2012, and comprehensive coverage targets were established for the winning companies. Such targets will continue to exist, regardless of the bidding of other radio frequency bands for the provision of fourth generation services. In addition, the two tracks have different characteristics, with complementary natures. Thus, while the 2.5 GHz band tends to be used more in large cities, the 700 MHz band tends to be used more in regions with less population density, due to its coverage capacity that is greater.

Should the deflation occur, is there any chance that the government will allocate another 2.5 GHz band?

At the moment, the government is not considering allocating another 2.5 Ghz band, because, as stated, both this band and the 700 MHz band are intended for the provision of 4G mobile services.

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