DTT plans in the Irish Republic

The DTT process in Ireland was initially regulated by the 2001 Broadcasting Act.
In 2007 this Act was amended to allow multiple operators instead of the previously restrictive single multiplex operator limitation.
Now it is expected that there will eventually be six DTT multiplexes in operation in the Irish republic. ComReg will issue two licences to RTE and four to the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) for tender to commercial operators.
At present the available spectrum is limited and ComReg are only expected to issue one national multiplex to RTE and three multiplexes to the BCI until after analogue switch off, when the remaining multiplexes will be released.
The BCI is currently finalising its DTT policy and it is expected that the tenders for DTT licences will be issued in June 2008.
Technical trials have been taking place in Ireland since 2006 and it is expected that the soft launch of a more public service will take place in Q3/Q4 2008 with a hard launch in 2009.
Analogue switch off is planned to take place once the DTT coverage exceeds that of the existing analogue service, which is put at 98%.
Thanks to Seo Catháin, Dublin Institute of Technology for the updated.
Item added: 23rd October 2007 (corrected 28th January 2008)
Useful link: http://www.digitaltv.gov.ie  
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