Costa Rica puts analog blackout’s second stage off for August 2021

As reported by several specialized websites in Costa Rica, due to the advance of the Coronavirus pandemic globally, the country’s Government made the decision to put the deadline for the implementation of the second stage of the analog blackout off until July 14th, 2021, one year later than it was originally scheduled.

In Costa Rica, the DTT migration process is being developed in two stages. In the first one, concluded on August 14th, 2019, the analog blackout was implemented in the Irazu Volcano National Park region, which, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC) of Costa Rica, houses almost 80% of the country’s population. The second stage of the process, meanwhile, will take place in the rest of the country, with July 14th, 2021 as the final deadline.

‘The Covid has brought limitations to the import logistics of the required equipment. Additionally, families, especially the most vulnerable ones, could face economic problems to acquire the necessary equipment. For this reason, we have decided to postpone the deadline for the implementation of phase 2 (of the analog blackout) to July 14th, 2021, in accordance with the recommendation received by the Mixed Commission for the Transition to Digital Television’, explained Paola Vega -Castillo, Minister of Science, Technology and Telecommunications of Costa Rica, on the reasons that led to the decision to postpone the original date, which was originally scheduled for next August 14th.

From the Mixed Institute of Social Aid of Costa Rica, they reported that, at the original date scheduled to implement the first stage of the DTT migration process, around 1,700 STBs had been granted to vulnerable families, so that they could implement the analog blackout. The entity also reported that, initially, about 13 thousand families across the country would have support to implement the blackout, but only 9 thousand of them would be covered in the first stage. The rest may implement it from the beginning of the second one.