Poland Approved Digitalization Bill

By Katarzyna Grynienko

WARSAW: Polish President Bronisław Komorowski has approved a "digitalization" bill ending the use of analogue transmitters in Poland by June 2013.

"The goal of the bill is to create formal and legal basis for turning off analogue television by 31 June 2013 and introducing digital television," the President's Chancellery said in a statement. The signature of the Polish President is the final step for the new bill, introduced on 30 June 2011, to take effect. Polish public broadcaster TVP (www.tvp.pl) and private stations TVN (www.tvn.pl) , Polsat (www.polsat.pl), Polskie Media (www.tv4.pl) and Telewizja Puls (www.pulstv.pl) are all obligated to stop analogue broadcasting by 2013.

The "digitalization act" will be introduced in two stages. Firstly by a transitory period of broadcasting with the use of both analogue and digital transmitters and secondly by turning off the analogue television completely. Digital television will be introduced gradually according to a schedule created by the Office Of Electronic Communications (www.uke.gov.pl) throughout the whole territory of Poland.

The government is spending 492 000 PLN (EUR 122 400) on an informational campaign to prepare the public for the transition.

Public broadcaster TVP started the transition in October 2010. Currently channels TVP 1, TVP 2, TVP Culture and TVP History are available via digital transmitters in 4 out of 16 Polish provinces. The first digital multiplex is operated by TVP while the second one is shared by Polsat, TVN, Polskie Media and Telewizja Puls. In the future more multiplexes are will be created for the already existing and new broadcasters.

The bill signed on 15 June 2011 takes effect after 14 days from the announcement.