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Government gives RTE go ahead to go on DSat? - 17th May 2001
"It is up to RTE, in the first
place if they wish to be carried on satellite"
The above comment appeared in a "right-to-reply"
article regarding DTT in the Sunday Busines Post on
Sunday. The first article (by British academic Rob Brown)
critisised the government for delaying DTT (and over the
proposed licence fee increase). The DAHGI spokesperson
blames RTE instead. We're not here to apportion to blame,
the fact remains that DTT has been delayed and will not
be here until Autumn 2002 at the earliest. But the above
comment is potentially of great importance. Effectively
it gives RTE the go-ahead to be on SkyDigital if they
wish to be - indeed, as RTE Radio 1 already is. It is now
up to RTE - as a company with no retail interest in any
particular platform (having only a wholesale interest in
DTT as 28% owners of the masts and relays)- to make their
digital services, starting with RTE ONE and N2, available
on all platforms, and that includes DSat.
The moment of truth - 26th March 2001
Its' official. BBC ONE Northern Ireland will launch on SkyDigital for the Republic of Ireland tommorow, Monday 26th March 2001, on channel #214. It will be followed in one month's time by BBC TWO Northern Ireland on #215.
This is the moment all Sky subscribers have been waiting for. For the first time viewers here will have access to UK domestic TV services, as cable and MMDS viewers have always had. People may bemoan the fact that there's no Choice, Knowledge or News 24, and that they will have to wait another month for BBC TWO. Also things won't quite be equal until ALL terrestrial channels - including RTE, TV3, and TG4, are on Sky. But the first move of the BBC will encourage other channels to also make the leap - as indeed it did in the UK in 1997. It will also mean that for the first time, cable and MMDS companies will have competition to provided terrestrial channels - good news for those of us (such as myself) unable to make the leap to Sky for various reasons (lack of support for multiple TVs in my case). This can only mean lower prices in the long run.
I'd like to thank all who have discussed this issue on our Digital Satellite forum (over 200 posts on the issue) - where Tony broke the story (albeit for April 1st), and where several other facts were first revealled. Thanks all! And I'm sure that we can look forward to more discussion on when the remaining terrestrials will appear... go to forums