The DTT network migration process is suspended due to the constraints associated to COVID-19. The suspension of the process follows from prior articulation between ANACOM and MEO, DTT network operator, and merited the necessary concordance of the Government.
Following this decision, the issuers that were to be changed from 16 March 2020 onwards shall no longer change frequency on the established date. The process shall be resumed as soon as permitted by the conditions associated to the pandemic.
This decision is justified by a series of difficulties referred to by MEO, due to the impact of the civil protection and public health measures that have been adopted, or may be adopted in the future, in the light of recommendations issued by the Directorate General for Health for COVID-19. In this context, the company also referred to the use of technical teams of foreign providers.
Concerning support to DTT users, directly ensured by ANACOM through the free support line1 and technical teams that were in the field to support the population, it would also be important to assess the impact of the contingency measures on its normal operation. It should be stressed that these teams were already visiting the homes of the population with all precautions being taken to prevent contamination, but even so, they were still subject to an increasingly higher probability of contagion, and could, inclusively, be contributing to spread the virus.
In view of the various risks and high uncertainty about the accomplishment of the migration process under the planned terms, its immediate suspension appears prudent.
The consequence of the decision to suspend the DTT network migration process is the postponement, for reasons of force majeure, of the date of release of the 700 MHz band planned for 30 June 2020 as established in the National Roadmap, approved by ANACOM on 27 June 2018, with concordance of the Government.
1 Freephone number 800 102 002 is available from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, during the suspension period of the migration process of the DTT network due to the constraints associated with COVID-19.