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Antenna Hungária "bit late" on terrestrial broadcasting rollout but will meet deadline

Antenna Hungaria is a little behind on the rollout of terrestrial digital broadcasting in Hungary, but will still meet the deadline at the end of December, 2011, CEO Jean-Francois Fenech said at a conference organised by the company on Wednesday.

"We're a bit late, and we would be calmer if we were ahead," Fenech said.

The switch to digital terrestrial broadcasting from analogue is expected to affect about 800,000 households in Hungary. Some 125,000 households already have access to the digital broadcasts.

Decisions on subsidies for households to make the switch as well as whether to make the rollout at once or in phases, based on geographic areas, should be made as soon as possible, Fenech said.

Antenna Hungária has already spent more than half of the expected HUF 25 billion cost of the rollout, he said.

Terrestrial digital broadcast coverage in Hungary is around 88%, but will soon rise to 95%, said National Media and Telecommunications Authority (NMHH) deputy chief Gábor Mátrai. The construction of the network is progressing well and nobody will miss out on digital broadcast programming, he added. (MTI-Econews)