ANACOM adjusts DTT subsidy and co-payment programmes

Given the low number of beneficiaries who have joined so far the Subsidy Programme aimed to support the people most seriously in need in their migration to digital television, ANACOM decided to implement additional migration-encouraging measures which, on the one hand, fall within PTC’s commitment, and on the other, have the lowest possible impact on procedures already set out in the Subsidy Programme. In this context, the following additional measures have thus been defined:

Installation subsidy for reception of digital signal

Having found that the cost of adapting the installation for digital signal reception prevented migration by the most disadvantaged social groups, ANACOM takes the view that it is necessary to establish an additional subsidy for beneficiaries of the Subsidy Programme, in particular families in social isolation, for either structural or short-term reasons, whose applicant is 65 years old or over.

A specific subsidy of €61 is thus created, allowing these beneficiaries to contract the adaptation of the installation for DTT or DTH reception, reducing as much as possible this barrier to migration by citizens referenced by the Social Security (either directly or through institutions working with it at an institutional level), who do not have Pay TV services, and who require technical intervention for the installation of digital signal reception means.

Fulfilment by the interested party of defined conditions of eligibility may be verified through a document where the Social Security (either directly or through institutions working with it at an institutional level) certifies such eligibility, which shall be attached to the applicant’s file.

People who have enjoyed the 50% discount on the decoder, in case they are eligible, are also entitled to receive this subsidy, and are not required to submit to PTC any other documents besides the Social Security certificate.

Extension of the duration of the Subsidy Programme

ANACOM decided to extend the period of time during which beneficiaries may apply for the installation and decoder purchase subsidies. The time limit defined in the Subsidy Programme (30 June) is thus extended by 60 days (until 31 August 2012).

- Alteration of the Co-Payment Programme

The fact that part of the population receives the digital TV signal through satellite (DTH coverage zones) has led to some serious problems as far as migration is concerned. To decrease the resistance to an inevitable change, ANACOM has adopted the following measures:

Change in the value of the DTH Kit

Given the need to ensure compliance, throughout the full period of the Co-Payment Programme, with the principle of equivalence to which PTC is bound, the price of DTH kits is calculated by reference to the average price of DTT reception equipment during the last six months, and may be adjusted in case there is a variation of over 10% in the average six month price of STBs for DTT reception.

ANACOM thus determined, on 6 January 2012, that the value of the DTH Kit, first STB, to be borne by the applicant, after having received the reimbursement, would be €40.

In the light of the most recent data available to ICP - ANACOM on the price of DTT boxes, which refers to the period October 2011-February 2012, and which confirms the decreasing trend of such prices to around €30, ANACOM has lowered to this amount the value of the DTH Kit to be borne by the applicant, after being reimbursed.

Extension of the co-payment to the 1st additional DTH STB

ANACOM further considers there is room to deepen the principle of equivalence of migration costs between those living in areas with terrestrial coverage and with satellite coverage.

Consequently, the Authority has decided to extend the co-payment set for the purchase of the DTH Kit to an additional DTH set-top-box, thus the value now defined for the DTH STB after reimbursement - €30 - is also valid for the purchase of the first additional satellite decoder.

Adjustment to the Co-Payment Programme procedure

Still in the scope of steps required to expedite migration-encouraging measures, ANACOM acknowledges that there is a substantially different impact on the applicant if he/she pays the value of a TDT STB (the average store price of which was around €40 in the period April-September 2011 and €30 in the period October 2011-February 2012) or if he/she pays first €77 for the DTH Kit and later receives the respective reimbursement (thus bearing the same cost than a resident in a TDT coverage zone).

To minimize this initial obstacle to migration, that can be a real barrier to populations in serious financial need a month before the final switch-off, ANACOM considers that there are grounds to introduce an alternative procedure to purchase the DTH Kit, allowing the applicant to pay only the €30. Citizens are thus able to choose a new procedure to purchase the DTH Kit:

- They may order the DTH Kit, and after PTC has verified/confirmed, within 5 working days, for 95% of cases, that the applicant meets all requirements to join the Programme, he/she may purchase the equipment for €30 per Kit (value which applies to the DTH Kit as well as to the 1st additional STB).

The former procedure, which is to purchase the Kit for 77€ and to take it home immediately, receiving the co-payment reimbursement later, remains in force for those who prefer this option.

Related information on ANACOM's website:

  • DTT dossier