According to the Minister of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications, Te?filo de la Torre, before year end, the Costa Rican Government might start DTT broadcastings under ISDB-T and would announce the analog blackout in 2017. On the other hand, Hannia Vega, Vice Minister of Telecommunications, pointed out that the authorization for the digital start-up will be effective inmediately after the executive decree is issued. In the meantime, the mised commission, creadted for the DTT area, passed unanimously the technological broadcasting proposal to be submitted before the Government soon. According to El Financiero newspaper, such document foresees the distribution of free STBs among low income sectors.
The report entittled "Order for the Costa Rican digital TV implementation" offers recommendations for the administration and good use of radio electrical spectrum and guidelines to foster the creation of national and interactive content. Likewise, De la Torre pointed out that specific actions will be carried out to help low income sectors. The report proposes the distribution of free STBs among such families and most needed institutions such as educating centers. In virtue of potential contributions, conversations are being held with the Brazilian and Japanese Governments. Additionally, subsidies might be granted for the purchase of STBs and TV sets. In turn, the Government might negotiate with retail stores the development of promotions for the acquisitions of such devices.
The document also sets the reduction of taxes on TV sets with the purpose of encouraging purchases. According to the National Statistics and Census Institute of such country, there are 1,204,666 color TV sets in Costa Rican households. Such report estimates that the number of devices fitted with digital tuner would account for the number of houesholds recorded in 2016. To such ends, the Soccer World Cup to be held in Brazil in 2014 is expected to encourage the consumption of such devices.
The ruling also proposes a regular revision of DTT adoption actions so as to take measures that enable the process. With the arrival of digital TV, TV operators will have the possibility to broadcast its digital channel over different periods during the day, by utilizing the frequency they already have or using some additional one, which must be returned to the State jointly with broadcasting stations upon the analog blackout in 2017. Costa Rica chose ISDB-T together with Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador.
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