On July 24th, the first new digital terrestrial television (DTT) frequencies start on Mallorca, Ibiza and Formentera, as well as in 94 municipalities in the province of Cáceres, and on July 26 in 24 locations in the province of Huelva. Some 36,000 buildings in these areas will have to adapt their collective antenna facilities to continue receiving the full offer of DTT channels.
They will have a maximum period of six months for this and will have public support.
In order to facilitate the transition and minimize the impact for the citizens, for a time the television channels will broadcast simultaneously through the new and old frequencies (simulcast), before proceeding to the shutdown of the latter.
This was explained this morning by the General Director of Telecommunications and Information Technology of the Secretary of State for Digital Advancement, Roberto Sánchez, who has clarified that the change of frequencies will not affect all buildings in the designated areas of the Balearic Islands, Cáceres and Huelva. In particular, medium- or large-sized community buildings that are equipped with single-channel systems or programmable control units should make adaptations. During the next six months, these neighborhood communities – some 36,000, in which 760,000 people live – should contact a registered installer to make the necessary changes in the reception systems of your buildings.
Individual dwellings will be excluded from this adaptation, where only TV sets should be retuned to enjoy the complete DTT offer, once the simulcast ends.
This process will not imply the appearance or disappearance of television channels, simply moving frequencies. Likewise, it should be emphasized that this process will not imply the obsolescence of televisions or DTT decoders.
The change of frequencies of DTT occurs as a result of the release of the so-called Second Digital Dividend, whereby the 700 MHz band of the radio spectrum will be cleared, now partially occupied by DTT, to allow the deployment of future radio networks. 5G telecommunications.
In compliance with the obligations imposed by the European Union, the 700 MHz band should be fully available before June 30, 2020. This is established by Decision (EU) 2017/899 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May of 2017, which aims to ensure a coordinated approach to the use of these frequencies in the community territory. The process will be developed in full coordination with neighboring countries, not only with those belonging to the European Union, subject to the same process, also with Morocco and Algeria.
As of June 30, 2020, therefore, the 700 MHz band will be available for the provision of services associated with the fifth generation mobile telephony, within the National 5G Plan. The aim is to place Spain among the leading countries in the development of this technology, which will boost the competitiveness of the business fabric and facilitate the emergence of disruptive innovations.
The general director has advanced that in September will continue with the changes of frequencies in other areas of Spain such as Albacete, Almeria, Badajoz and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The release of the Second Digital Dividend will take place in a staggered way in most of the national territory, starting with the areas described above. The detail of the municipalities where there will be ignitions of new emissions is specified in the royal decree 391/2019, of June 21.
In total, according to the estimates made by the Secretary of State for Digital Advance, it will affect around 850,000 buildings and 21 million inhabitants. They will be exempt from the frequency changes in the digital multiples of national and regional scope Asturias, Barcelona, A Coruña, Menorca, Melilla and a part of the provinces of Toledo and Murcia.
To minimize the impact of this process on citizenship, the Council of Ministers approved by Royal Decree on June 21 the direct granting of grants worth 145 million euros. Today, the Council of Ministers has adopted the agreement that authorizes this call for aid, which will be managed by the public company Red.es.
The aid will be used to compensate the costs derived from the reception or access to television audiovisual communication services in the buildings affected by the Second Digital Dividend. The amounts of the subsidy range between € 104.3 and € 677.95, depending on the infrastructure previously installed.
Information channels to citizens
Citizens can consult all their doubts on the website http://www.televisiondigital.es/, and on the telephone 901 20 10 04 and on the toll free number 954 30 65 01. As of August 2, the latter will be replaced by the toll-free hotline 910 889 881.