Minister Kiuru at Communications Forum: Decisions on TV operator licences to be made in 2014

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 27.2.2013 15.40
Press release

According to Ms Krista Kiuru, Minister of Housing and Communications, the Ministry is planning to make decisions on network operating licences for TV broadcasts as early as in 2014.

This news was revealed by Ms Kiuru at the Communications Forum organised by the Ministry of Transport and Communications on 27 February.

- In practice, this time frame means that the numbers of multiplexes using the new and the old broadcasting technologies will be decided in 2014. It is important to inform the operators of the schedule in good time to allow them to anticipate the changes, Ms Kiuru said.

Almost all existing licences for multiplexes that can be received through the antenna network will expire at the end of 2016. The new licences will be granted following the Communications Policy Programme for Electronic Media adopted by the Parliament in December 2012 and the current Communications Market Act.

The pay-TV channels of the antenna network will be the first ones to make the switch to the exclusive use of high definition technology in early 2017. The programmes of the Finnish Broadcasting Company and the so-called public service channels will be transmitted using both conventional and high definition technology until 2016, unless justified reasons for discontinuing standard transmissions earlier than this come up in an intermediate review.

In her speech, Ms Kiuru also addressed consumer protection issues in electronic services.

- The reform project of electronic communications legislation that is under way, or the Information Society Code, will contain proposals for important improvements in consumer rights. A key change will be imposing on telecommunications companies a greater responsibility for services that are invoiced in connection with the telephone bill. I find it important that telecommunications operators assume similar responsibilities to those that credit card companies already have, Ms Kiuru said.

Credit card companies have the duty to return to the consumer a charge paid for goods or services if the purchase does not meet the promises or if the seller fails to deliver it.

- I know that this proposal will not be universally popular, and I understand the concern operators in particular feel over increasing costs. At the same time, however, I would like to stress the significance of trust and reliability in terms of more wide-spread use of the services.

- Too many consumers continue to hesitate when it comes to using mobile services. Not because of a lack of availability or because they do not know how to use the devices, but above all because they do not trust the service providers, Ms Kiuru pointed out.

Further information
Mr Esa Suominen, Special Advisor to the Minister of Housing and Communications, tel. +358 43 824 5668