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Switch over from analogue television in Portugal results in 4065 calls to DTT helpline
The switch off of analogue television in Portugal has been concluded as scheduled with all remaining transmitters and relays still broadcasting analogue signals switched off on 26 April. As of 12.30 on this day, all digital television signals being broadcast in Portugal are digital.
In total, following the three phases of the switch off, a total of 4,065 calls have been received by the DTT helpline from people who did not prepare in time and were left unable to watch television after analogue signals were switched off. A total of 1,600 calls were reported during the first phase, which was concluded on 23 February, and 201 calls during the second phase, when analogue signals were switched off in the Azores and Madeira. After the switch off on 26 April, another 2,264 calls were put through to the helpline.
Although these 4,065 calls make up just 0.3% of the 1.3 million families who had to make adaptations to receive digital television, and is therefore very small, it should not be forgotten that there are population groups who, for various reasons, had difficulties in making the required transition.
In fact, even though the switch off process is now concluded, migration to DTT will continue over the coming weeks and months, since not everyone has yet made the necessary adaptations. Emigrants who will be visiting Portugal during the summer, will need to migrate when they arrive, as will the many foreign residents with holiday homes in the country. In addition, there will undoubtedly be cases where people who already have a first television set adapted to receive digital signals will take time to migrate the second and third television sets in their homes.
As such, people working closely with communities should continue to provide support and help people with the migration to digital television. Specifically, they should provide information on the adaptations that people need to make and on the assistance available for vulnerable or elderly members of the population. They can also help people complete the paperwork needed to obtain subsidies and/or reimbursements.
Fortunately, in Portugal, there are private institutions of social solidarity working throughout the country, in cooperation with Social Security and together with local authorities, helping communities through this process.
Meanwhile, the subsidy and reimbursement programmes have been extended by ANACOM until 31 August, so that those who were unable to complete the migration earlier will not lose out and will still be eligible to benefit from the assistance available, even when concluding the migration after the final switch off date.
There is a subsidy available equivalent to 50% of the price of the set-top box (terrestrial or satellite), limited at 22 euros. This subsidy can be claimed by beneficiaries of Rendimento Social de Inserção (income support), retirees and pensioners with a monthly income not exceeding 500 euros and by people with a level of disability equal to or greater than 60%.
ANACOM also set up a subsidy for the installation of aerials, including parabolic aerials, of 61 euros. This subsidy is available to people aged 65 and over who live in situations of social isolation and who have been referred by Social Security, comprising one of the population groups of most concern where the support of community agents is especially important.
Related information on ANACOM's website:
DTT dossier http://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?categoryId=344249
DTT - Digital Terrestrial Television: Name given to the system of digital television broadcasting by herzian or terrestrial means, based on the DVB-T standard, which replaced the terrestrial analogue system.
Switch-Off (of the terrestrial analogue system): Termination of terrestrial analogue television broadcasting. From 26 April 2012, the terrestrial television service has no longer been available via analogue, and has been available through digital only.
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