Lazarevic: Ministry doing its best to speed up the process of digitizing

The lack of available frequencies is one of the main reasons for slowing the digital TV in Serbia, hampered by problems accumulated in the previous period, was told to Tanjug by Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign and Domestic Trade and Telecommunications Stefan Lazarevic.

He pointed out that the Ministry repeatedly alleged lack of frequency as an aggravating circumstance for digitization, and noted that the use of acquitted frequency significantly facilitate the completion of the digitization process.

“The Ministry of Culture has informed us that the RBA legally required holding a competition for those frequencies which have informed RATEL” said Lazarevic. Ministry of Foreign and Domestic Trade and telecommunication, he added, the competition cannot be even call or withdraw.

He pointed out that the Ministry had taken a number of steps to disengage the digitalization process which is “inherited in a very bad situation.”

Lazarevic said that this, above all, to the adoption of a new plan of action with clear and realistic deadlines, and the passage of the Allocation Plan, which defines how to use the frequencies that will be freed after digitization.

“We are currently reviewing all options and ways to help for certain social categories of the population so that they can freely continue to follow a television program when it is broadcast in digital format. Also, we are working on changes to the regulatory framework, with the key step of the adoption electronic media which is under the Ministry of Culture” said the secretary of state.

On the other hand, a public company Broadcasting Equipment is currently finishing work on projects that should be completed three years ago, said Lazarevic.

That all the projects were completed, as noted Lazarevic, today we would work quickly to finalize the construction of distribution networks for digital broadcasting.

“However, we had to make up for lost time, so we solve the accumulated problems from the past,” he explained.

Lazarevic said that Serbia’s international obligations to the process of digital switchover completed by June 17th 2015, adding that the majority of European countries completed the transition to digital broadcasting, while the countries of the region towards the end of the process.

“The conversations we had with the other countries, we realized that they were facing the same problems as we do today,” writes Secretary of State Lazarevic.

Unlike us, they have been preparing for the digital broadcasting started much earlier, while in Serbia the process revived in 2009. All that is successfully done today is done thanks to the help of the EU, said Lazarevic.

He recalled that in the implementation of the project to assist in the transition from analogue to digital television broadcasting, the EU donated to Serbia the equipment.

“The total value of the equipment installed is about eight million Euros. One part of the equipment is already used for broadcasting in the initial network. The rest is, unfortunately, still use, but the plan is to be used soon,” Lazarevic emphasized.

He finally said that there was no official announcement to us that equipment can be seized.