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RECENT DEVELOPMENTS ON MEDIA FIELD IN ALBANIA The Fourth Annual Meeting of BRAF (The Black Sea Broadcasting Regulatory Authorities Forum) Kiev, on 5-6.

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Presentation on theme: "RECENT DEVELOPMENTS ON MEDIA FIELD IN ALBANIA The Fourth Annual Meeting of BRAF (The Black Sea Broadcasting Regulatory Authorities Forum) Kiev, on 5-6."— Presentation transcript:

1 RECENT DEVELOPMENTS ON MEDIA FIELD IN ALBANIA The Fourth Annual Meeting of BRAF (The Black Sea Broadcasting Regulatory Authorities Forum) Kiev, on 5-6 September, 2013 Audiovisual Media Authority

2 2 Albania Audiovisual Landscape General data The last general census conducted in October 2011 comprised less than 3 million inhabitants (2 821 977). Given a large number of Albanians living abroad, according to civil status registers population consists of approximately 4.2 million inhabitants. The population is young (average age is about 30 years old) which favors the consumption of media and the development of communication techniques. Albanian population shows an apparent interest in new technologies, as it shows the device with mobile phones and consumes more television than radio. The number of TV sets is over 1 million, more than one device per household. Albania has a small territory, but today is an abundant and dynamic audiovisual landscape. This is made possible through legal procedures and criteria relatively not restrictive and liberalization policy pursued by regulatory authority

3 3 According to official data, audiovisual environment in Albania is very rich. Currently, in media market are operating: 3 national television networks; 63 regional or local television networks (1 town up to 4 districts); 71 local radios (FM); 89 cable networks; 3 private digital satellite platforms, and 3 private satellite televisions Albania Audiovisual Landscape

4 4 THE PROCESS OF DIGITALIZATION National Strategy on Digitalization In May 2012, the Albanian government adopted the "Strategy of transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. This strategy provides the main objectives and principles of the transition, and formulates the role of the state and the relevant structures of the state administration in the creation of the conditions for transition to the digital system. Also, it contains technical and legal assessment of the existing situation of the Albanian audio-visual landscape and also defines the steps, procedures and deadline of transition within 17 June 2015.

5 5 THE PROCESS OF DIGITALIZATION Along side this strategy, it is adopted the Action Plan, where specific measures, the timeframe and financial costs that are needed are foreseen. According to the strategy, the transition to digital broadcasting will be completed in the order and the terms defined allotment after allotment (digital islands method) up to full coverage of the Albanian territory (11 allotments). Order implementation of numerical islands and deadlines will be approved by the Inter-Ministerial Committee for coordination and implementation of Strategy for the transition to digital broadcasting. With the completion of construction of the network in a specific allotment, after a short trial period (1 month), analogue public operator and local private operators covering relevant allotment area will be closed. Deadlines for building digital networks of ART (Albanian Public Television) will be the same as the deadlines for building networks of national private operators.

6 6 THE PROCESS OF DIGITALIZATION The Strategy has stipulated the implementation of more advanced system DVB-T2. Meanwhile, for the digital terrestrial networks established in Albania the compression system MPEG-4 and other more advanced future systems shall be used. This will allow for an efficient use of the spectre, and HD programmes. Since the existing operators of the digital terrestrial networks (not licensed) apply the MPEG 2 standard, a transition period shall be determined MPEG2/MPEG-4, (not more than 2 years). Since may 2012, AMA has organized some meeting and seminars with different actors and stakeholders, with the aim to: - introduce obligations and commitments arising in the framework of the implementation of the National Strategy on the Transition from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting, and - the need for cooperation and coordination of all the actors involved in this process, for its successful implementation within the set deadline.

7 7 THE PROCESS OF DIGITALIZATION Albanian Digitalization Strategy has planned the building of: - 2 (two) public national networks (2 layers); - 3 (three) private national networks;(3 layers) and - 1 1 (eleven) local network (1 layer) In accordance with this obligation, recently, AMA drafted the Regulation On the licensing of digital networks and their programmes, according to the procedure of beauty contest, and made a public notification for taking part to the selection procedure, according to beauty contest principle, for granting 3 private national digital networks.

8 8 EXISTING DIGITAL BROADCASTING Digital broadcasting in Albania, originated in July 2004. Although this situation has developed outside any legal framework, digital terrestrial television is now a reality in Albania (Digitalb which is covering more than 1/3 of Albanian territory and Tring platform). Entities that operate today in the Albanian market are licensed as digital satellite operator, but repeats channels which are broadcast by terrestrial means. However, terrestrial digital broadcasting operators, including operators with significant expansion in the territory of Albania, really are the determining factors for digital broadcasting in Albania.

9 9 LEGAL FRAMEWORK With the aim to reflect the technology developments, the Albanian parliament took the legal initiative to adopt the new media law, with the purpose of providing a regulatory framework for the introduction of digital broadcasting in Albania. After a long discussion with all stakeholders, in March 2013, the Albanian Parliament has approved the new law On Audiovisual Media in the Republic of Albania, which is considered to be in full compliance with European and international standards. This law reflects recommendations from the expertise of the Council of Europe and the European Commission and paved the way for the start of the digitalization process. The media law is fully in line with the Strategy for the transition to digital broadcasting, adopted by the Albanian government in May 2012.

10 10 LEGAL FRAMEWORK This law regulates the activity of the audiovisual media and of their supporting services, on bases of the technological neutrality principle in the territory of Albania, and shall apply to linear and non linear audiovisual broadcasts and their support services…. Pursuant to provisions of new media law, Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA) has established a working group tasked with drafting of sub-legal acts for fully implementation of the afored- mentioned law, which has to be concluded within 6 months from the its entering into force (April-October 2013). For this purpose, in cooperation with international experts, AMA has already drafted and approved the best part of them, aiming to conclude this process as soon as possible.

11 11 LEGAL FRAMEWORK In compliance with national legislation and international standarts, prior to their approval from regulatory authority, AMA has undertaken the process of public consultation related to regulatory acts which have a significant impact on the delivery of audio and audiovisual services. The purpose of this consultation process is the presentation and discussion about the content of these draft acts, aiming to take comments and suggestions from the stakeholders, in order to improve these acts, as well as achieving a broad consensus among them. The acts are published for public consultation in official website of AMA (, and are expected to be approve by the regulatory authority, in October, at the

12 12 THE ADMINISTRATIVE CAPACITY OF REGULATORY AUTHORITY Pursuant to provisions of the new media law, AMA prepared and submitted for approval to the Albanian Parliament (Education and Means of Public Information Commission) a new organizational structure, which is not approved yet The aim is to have more efficient structure with greater flexibility to manage and resolve problems and issues encountered as a result of technological developments in the field of media, and to meet obligations imposed by Audio Visual Media law and by the Audiovizual Media Services Directive. Audiovisual Media Authority has limited administrative and financial capacity to carry out successfully the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. Therefore, AMA permanently has asked for more financial and administrative support from the government to accomplishes the switch off process successfully and on due time..

13 13 CONCLUSION OF DIGI TV PROJECT Albanian Audiovizual Media Authority (AMA) was part of South East Digital Television Project (See Digit TV), within the Inter- national Cooperation Programme of South-East Europe, funded by the European Union. The purpose of this project was the creation of a transnational platform of regulators, in order to address issues related to transition in digital broadcasting and coordination and use of digital Dividend. In this project was involved 13 thirteen partners, members of EU or not, including the regulatory authorities of Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Monte Negro, Macedonia, and Albania. The project started in April 2011 and lasted until July 2013.

14 14 RESULTS OF DIGI TV PROJECT The extensive work of the SEE Digi.TV Project resulted in a number of analyses, reports, guidelines, specifications and recommendations that target different aspects and phases of the digital switchover process, ranging from strategy elaboration through the establishment of the legal background, technical planning, promotion and execution of the switchover, to utilization of the digital dividend. Taking into account the needs of the citizens in the project area, the project outputs are aimed primarily at regulatory authorities and policy makers, but are of interest also of other stakeholders involved in the digital switchover process. The project consortium grew into a platform that facilitates and fosters communication, exchange of information, ideas, lessons learned, and best practices. As one of the main achievements of the project, co- operation among the regulatory bodies and other stakeholders from the region will continue in one way or another after the end of the project.

15 15 NEW SERVICES Legal Framework Article 54 of Audiovizual Media Law (Types of licenses and authorization and their terms of validity (duration) provides for... The service authorizations of audio programme and service authorizations of audiovisual program, are: --------------- 4. Online service – for internet services. The maximum duration of licenses and/or authorizations is 15 years. The AMA, by resolution, determines the maximum duration of licenses and authorizations, according to their classification.

16 16 NEW SERVICES Article 76 of Audiovizual Media Law (Conditions for the provision of on demand audio and/or audiovisual media service provides for: a. On demand services are not allowed to include programs that stimulate hatred on the grounds of race, ethnicity, gender, nationality or religion. b. On demand audio and/or audiovisual media services, which can seriously impair the physical, mental or moral development of minors, are transmitted in encrypted form, so as to ensure that, in normal conditions, they are not received by minors. Pursuant to Cybercrime Convention, there have been some Amendments made to Albanian Penal and Procedural Code regarding the content- related offences committed through computer systems. There is no secondary legislation to address this area to date.

17 17 NEW SERVICES Measure taken so far by the respective regulatory authority against the audiovisual content which is related to child pornography, racism, xenophobia or approval of crimes against humanity are the following: - Adoption of code of ethics from electronic communications providers for safer internet for children and teenage. - Filter of illegal content (e.g. child pornography) in Internet access provided in public schools; - Guidelines for parental control adopted from different ISPs (Internet Service Provider), - Instructions adopted by Commissioner for Data Protection on child protection in Internet,

18 18 NEW SERVICES - ITU guidelines published online in the websites of different institutions such as: NAIS (National Agency on Information Society), MITIC (Minister of Innovation and Information and Communication Technology) - Different awareness activities organized during the last years from MITIC/NAIS in cooperation with other stakeholders on safer internet and the necessity of self regulation practices. Etc.

19 19 Thank you for your attention!

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