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Austrian Government courts controversy in roll-out of DTT

Vienna, Austria (pte046/06.02.2003/21:09) - Franz Morak, the Austrain Media Secretary, has recently reiterated the government's controversial decision to state subsidise the roll-out of a digital terrestrial TV (DTT) platform.

Morak confirmed that the nationwide 'DVB-T' roll-out would continue to go ahead as previously announced, at the founding meeting of Digitale Plattform Austria, the organisation implementing DVB-T.

The country's cable operators have continued to protest vociferously against the decision, claiming their subsidised competitor would have an unfair advantage when their cable networks had to be digitised through their own money.

Mr Morak has maintained that the market is only able to cover the creation of a DTT network to a partial extent. A recent report compiled by the media regualtor Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs (RTR), outlines why the government might consider DTT to be such a priority. Unlike in neighbouring countries, such as Switzerland and Germany, where many rely households rely on cable networks, in Austria more than 63 per cent of households will continue to receive their television by terrestrial means.

Austria aims to have completely replaced its analogue signal by 2012.

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