Posted by: euromediablog | November 23, 2009

Public Digitization in Bulgaria Goes Private

The European deadline for the analogue-digital switchover of television transmission was set to 2012- approximately 10 years ago. And while other countries  like Finland, Germany, UK are already close to competing one of the major objectives of the European Information Society, new EU member Bulgaria- has not really started yet.

The former socialist government 2005-2009, was planning a public-private partnerhip for the build up of the necessary digital infrastructure- an aspiration that never really produced any results. A motive good enough for the new neoliberal government under Prime Minister Boiko Borissov  to cancel the previous privatisation restrictions and to  call a tender open only to fully private bidders. This  reform would most likely benefit  Austrian digital infrastructure provider ORS, that is expected to take over the whole digital transmission in Bulgaria, controlling not only the transmission networks, but also the single multiplex channels.

As a result the public service broadcasters in Bulgaria BNT (Television) and BNR (Radio) will be obliged to pay an annual transmission fee to a private network operator. A fee, that would be substracted from the annual budget of the Broadcasters. Every single year. The saddest thing is- that this market solution is the only way to meet the deadline.

For further information: capital bg and medianetwork

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