Presidência do Conselho de Ministros (Presidency of the Council of Ministers)
The introduction of terrestrial digital television in Portugal is one of the objectives set out in the Programme of Portugal's XVII Constitutional Government.
In this context, through Resolution of Council of Ministers no. 12/2008 of 22 January, the Government underlined the strategic importance of a rapid digital transition, given the need to comply with the community guidelines on the switch-off of the television broadcasting analogue system in 2012.
Likewise, in the Major Planning Options, in view of the implementation of digital terrestrial television in 2009, the Government foresaw the need to conduct the evaluation and preparation of the measures necessary to conclude the switch-off of the analogue television service.
In order that these objectives are achieved and in respect of the public tender for the allocation of a frequency usage right on a national basis, reserved in the national frequency allocation plan (QNAF) for the digital terrestrial television broadcasting service, ICP - Authority Nacional de Comunicações (ICP-ANACOM) issued, subsequent to the determination of 9 December 2008, the title that embodies and provides for the exercise of this frequency usage right, which is associated with Multiplexer A, and relates to the transmission of television programme services of free, unrestricted access.
This title explains that, with the implementation of the network at the end of the 4th quarter of 2010, it is required that coverage of 100% of the population is guaranteed. Accordingly, as of that time, conditions were put in place, in terms of the offer of this television service, enabling the accomplishment of the digital transition.
The full implementation of conditions for the accomplishment of the digital transition and the consequent switch-off of television transmissions of the terrestrial analogue system is not limited to the allocation of the said usage right.
In this context, bearing in mind the requirements of coverage and the respective timings assumed pursuant to the frequency usage right associated with Multiplexer A, the date shall be established for the switch-off of terrestrial analogue television transmissions, at which time ICP-ANACOM shall recover, without any charges, the currently allocated frequency usage rights for the provision of publicly available television programmes based on analogue technology. Meanwhile, in order to minimise the impact on consumers, a period shall be guaranteed during which there shall be simultaneous terrestrial analogue and digital broadcasting, known commonly as simulcast, which period shall be not less than 12 months.
In parallel, it is of crucial importance to develop a set of measures and a series of actions to stimulate mass voluntary migration with as little impact as possible on consumers, considering that, in order to continue to receive the television programme services of free, unrestricted access subsequent to the switch-off of television transmissions of the terrestrial analogue system, consumers will have to convert or upgrade receiver equipment in order to gain access to services in digital format.
Alternatively or additionally, consumers may naturally choose to access television programme services to which access is unrestricted with subscription or restricted, based on the commercial offers available for that purpose, which over the course of 2009, will also come to be supported through digital terrestrial television broadcasting.
The entire digital transition process, in view of the economic and social impact and the intended period of implementation, requires full coordination around a common vision of various entities, both at the level of those involved most directly and in terms of a broader set of stakeholders.
Under the terms of point g) of article 199 of the Constitution, the Council of Ministers resolves:
1 - To determine the termination of terrestrial analogue television transmission in all parts of the national territory, occurring no later than 26 April 2012.
2 - To determine the publication by ICP-ANACOM, as part of its remit of managing the spectrum, a detailed plan on the termination of the terrestrial analogue transmissions of each transmitter or relay station, in respect of which shall be heard, specifically, the holder of the frequency usage right for the digital terrestrial television broadcasting service, associated with Multiplexer A, holders of frequency usage rights for the terrestrial analogue television broadcasting service and the respective operators of the transport and distribution network of the terrestrial analogue television signal.
3 - To establish that the plan referred to in the preceding paragraph may be published in phases, but never less than three months prior to the date of the termination of the terrestrial analogue transmissions of each transmitter or relay station figuring in the respective publication.
4 - To determine that, considering the functions and powers provided for in its Statutes, published in annex to Decree-Law no. 309/2001 of 7 December, ICP-ANACOM promote the conditions necessary to ensure the transition to digital, and therefore the termination of terrestrial analogue television transmissions, as referred to in paragraph 1, ensuring in particular:
a) The supervision of the analogue-digital transition process;
b) The presentation of recommendations to stakeholders in the analogue-digital transition process as may be necessary and, where appropriate, to the Government, with respect to and during the course of said process.
5 - To determine that, to support ICP-ANACOM in the accomplishment of the objectives referred to in the preceding paragraph, a group is created to monitor the migration to digital television (GAM-TD). This monitoring group will bring together the efforts of those most directly involved in the analogue-digital transition, and its members shall, in particular, report relevant data on a quarterly basis, as well as information on actions conducted and to be conducted in this area either individually or by means of association formed for this purpose, without prejudice to the obligations or commitments assumed by the holder of the right to use frequencies of the digital terrestrial television broadcasting services for the transmission of television programme services of free, unrestricted access, as well as those which may be assumed by the operators referred to in point c) of paragraph 6.
6 - To determine that, in addition to two representatives from ICP-ANACOM, one of whom will act as chair, the GAM-TD shall be composed of:
a) One representative from the frequency usage right with respect to the digital terrestrial television broadcasting services for the transmission of television programme services of free, unrestricted access (Multiplexer A);
b) One representative from each operator of electronic communications networks supporting the transmission of television programme services;
c) One representative from each television operator responsible for the organization of television programme services of free, unrestricted access;
d) Two representatives from the manufacturers and of the retailers of television reception equipment, to be appointed by their respective associations;
e) One representative from Direcção-Geral do Consumidor (Consumer Directorate);
f) One representative of individual consumers, to be appointed by the consumer associations;
g) Representatives from other entities, whose contribution is deemed necessary in light of the material in question, subsequent to the invitation of ICP-ANACOM and approval of GAM-TD.
7 - To determine that the Minister of Public Works, Transport and Communications and the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs shall be kept informed of progress, which Ministers may be represented at meetings of GAM-TD.
8 - To establish that GAM-TD should meet at least once per quarter.
9 - To determine which the members of GAM-TD will not receive any remuneration for the performance of duties in this respect.
10 - To determine that ICP-ANACOM shall ensure the conditions necessary for the functioning of GAM-TD.
11 - To determine that GAM-TD shall cease its activities with the completion of a final report on the transition process, which report shall be submitted to the Government within a maximum period of six months following the termination of terrestrial analogue television broadcasting throughout the national territory.
12 - To determine that ICP-ANACOM, pursuant to article. 8 of its Statutes, as approved by Decree-Law no 309/2001 of 7 December, shall seek the cooperation of the Regulatory Authority for the Media whenever necessary and for the purposes of paragraph 4 of the present resolution.
13 - To determine that this resolution shall enter into force on the day following the date of its publication.
Presidency of the Council of Ministers, 26 February 2009. - The Prime Minister, José Sócrates Carvalho Pinto de Sousa.