Telecom Italia Media and the city of Pesaro get together on a terrestrial digital TV experiment

02/03/2004 - 00:00 PM

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The city council of Pesaro and La7 Televisioni S.p.A. – the company controlled and managed by Telecom Italia Media (Telecom Italia Group) – have signed a memorandum of understanding for a terrestrial digital tv experiment (TDT) aimed at developing and supplying interactive services useful to the general public.

“The Telecom Italia Group”, says Giuseppe Parrello, the head of the Terrestrial Digital Project, “aims to promote the development of interactive services in Pesaro that will combine the ease of use of TV with the opportunities offered by digital and broadband, the latter being used as a return channel for interaction with the local authorities.”

The experiment will bring city council interactive services into the homes of about 100 participating families who will be able to access them quite simply via their television remote control.

“This is a great opportunity for the local authorities,” explains Councillor Gabriele Del Monte, in charge of policy regarding citizens and information. “A new and important channel for accessing e-government will thus be created for the public. Terrestrial Digital Television could be used by the Council to develop a range of offerings accessible to the whole population (T-government): public information services (access to libraries, museums, firms, information for immigrants and children); tax services (for payments); interactive services that seek people’s opinions, surveys; T-commerce for the provision of gas, water, electricity; and health services such as booking medical appointments. At the same time the whole city – trade associations, trade unions and firms will have an efficient and useful instrument at their disposal; we’re looking at participatory democracy in cyberspace. A fundamentally important aspect for us is across-the-board access to these new opportunities and we are also very interested in broadcasting locally produced TV programmes for the people of Pesaro.”

The decision to focus on new technology is underpinned by the need to span the digital divide that excludes large sections of the population from the benefits of the information society. At present only one household in three has a personal computer, but there is a TV in 99% of Italian homes.

The changeover from analogic to digital TV will gradually involve the entire population of Italy and in a few years all television programmes will be using digital technology.

The Telecom Italia Group is committed to developing interactive services on terrestrial digital television for this reason and also to give local authorities the chance to use the instruments of the mass media to communicate with businesses and citizens in a timely and efficient way.