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Partial analogue television blackout in Cuba will begin in July

Television analogicaThe gradual transition from analogue to digital television broadcasting will begin in the Isla de la Juventud special municipality and five municipalities of Sancti Spíritus: La Sierpe, Jatibonico, Taguasco, Cabaiguán and the provincial capital

According to the schedule for the gradual transition from analogue to digital television (DTV) broadcasting in Cuba, the so-called “partial blackout” will begin it in July 2018. The first stage will cover Isla de la Juventud special municipality and five municipalities of Sancti Spíritus: La Sierpe, Jatibonico, Taguasco, Cabaiguán and the provincial capital.

As Grisel Reyes León, president of the Information Technology and Communications Business Group (GEIC), told Granma, the first analog channel to be switched off will be the Canal Educativo (Educational Channel), and this will imply its program contents being broadcast on other channels, both analog and digital.

We know that this is a sensitive process, especially for those who have not yet been able to acquire the digital receiving devices, and that is why actions will be accompanied by a strategy to always protect the population, Reyes León emphasized. In this regard, she added, the state will ensure that all analogue televisions in educational and health centers are replaced by digital television sets or provided with DTV receivers.

Likewise, Reyes León explained that the sale of DTV box receivers and hybrid televisions is being promoted in hard currency stores in the municipalities where the partial blackout will begin. The idea is that those citizens who have the means to, can immediately purchase these items, while the case of those with lower purchasing power will be reviewed to offer them the option to buy such devices on credit.

She also clarified that those people already identified by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security and receiving benefits will be protected, as they will be provided with DTV box receivers.

“The intention is to gradually progress and incorporate other provinces and municipalities, and it is expected that within three years there will be 100% DTV coverage in the national territory. However, the partial blackout will be carried out in stages and will also depend on the production capacity of the national industry and the economic and financial reality of the country,” Reyes León noted.

The transition to DTV will not only offer more broadcasting features and functionalities, but also influence other aspects of the computerization of society. For example, transmitters currently used to provide the analog signal once freed up will be available to Cuba’s telecommunications operator, Etecsa, to implement 4G for mobile phones resulting in a better broadband connection, Reyes León concluded.

(Granma)

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