Ministerial Order no. 6973/2003, of 9 of April
Published in D.R. number 84 (Series II) of 9 April 2003
Ministério da Economia (Ministry of Economy)
Gabinete do Ministro (Office Minister's)
By order of the Minister for Social Equipment of 17 August 2001, enacted pursuant to paragraph 2 of article 18, of the Public Tender Regulation, approved by the Administrative Rule n. º 346-A/2001 of 6 April, the PDTP company - Portuguese Digital Television Platform, S.A. (hereinafter referred to as PDTP for short) was granted a license of national scope for the establishment and operation of a digital terrestrial television platform.
According to the terms of the granted license, PDTP was bound to have started the commercial operation of the mentioned digital television platform by 31 August 2002.
However, at the request of the licensed operator and through the Ministerial Order n. º 20 095/2002, of 22 August, this time limit was extended up to 1 March 2003.
Since that date, the licensed operator has conveyed to ICP – National Communications Authority (ICP - ANACOM) its concern over the fact that the commencement of the commercial operation is not yet possible for reasons beyond its control, and moreover, that it may not submit any specific dates for that commencement.
In fact, in anticipation of what would be ex post compulsory at European level, the license granted to PDTP compels the operator, as explicitly provided for in point b) of paragraph 2 of clause 48, to “use the DV8-MHP technological platform, specified in ETSI TS 101 812, for the development and operation of interactive services, or others resulting from standards or legislation yet to be approved”.
As ICP – ANACOM has established, the availability in the national and international market, in a mass offer regime, of the indispensable equipment for the launching and entry into operation of the digital terrestrial television platform is not ensured as yet, a situation which objectively renders the platform launching impossible within the settled time limits.
Therefore, having regard to the opinion on the request and statement of grounds thereof submitted by PDTP, which was presented to me by ICP – ANACOM:
a) demonstrating that the necessary conditions for achieving the license aims have not been fulfilled, it being impossible to foresee with a minimum level of security a specific date for the purpose;
b) highlighting that a new extension of the time limit for the commencement of the commercial operation of the digital terrestrial television platform would only lead to an indefinite postponement to an unsettled date, and thus to an undeterminable delay regarding the launching of the digital terrestrial television in Portugal;
c) concluding that any measures enabling PDTP to stay in business in the current market would be undesirable and inadequate, and emphasizing that public interest would not being impaired by the license expiry;
d) considering that the situation arising from the license expiry, with the consequent extinction of powers and obligations conferred and imposed thereupon, would be conducive to the definition of a new model within a more appropriate legal framework, a different economic context, as well as a more secure technological environment;
e) intending to weigh, at a later stage, the re-launching of the operation of the digital terrestrial television platform, taking into consideration the present market conditions and constraints, according to a model that has regard to the international experience gathered on this subject in the meanwhile, and in the new regulatory framework of electronic communications, the entry in force of which is expected in the near future.
Pursuant to point b) of paragraph 2 of article 140 and paragraph 1 of article 142 of the Code of Administrative Procedure, I hereby repeal the granting of a license to PDTP - Portuguese Digital Television Platform, S.A., for the establishment and operation of a digital terrestrial television platform.
25 March 2003. – The Minister for the Economy, Carlos Manuel Tavares da Silva.
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