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(NAR) VOL. 26 NO. 1/ JANUARY - MARCH 2015

[ NTC Memorandum Circular No. 07-12-2014, December 16, 2014 ]


Adopted: 16 December 2014
Date Filed: 06 January 2015

Whereas, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) No. 546, Series of 1979, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is vested with the power to promulgate rules and regulations as public safety and interest may require, to encourage a large and more effective use of communications, radio and television broadcasting facilities and to maintain effective competition among private entities;

Whereas, in order to keep pace with the development in technology, the introduction of digital technology in the broadcasting service would ensure the competitiveness of the broadcast industry and afford it the opportunity to provide enhanced services to better serve the public;

Whereas, in order to facilitate the entry of digital broadcast services in the country, there is a need to provide the corresponding guidelines for the delivery of digital television services and ensure smooth transition from analog to digital television;

Now therefore, the NTC, pursuant to Act No. 3846, the Radio Control Law (as amended) and Executive Order 546 series of 1979, hereby issues the following rules and regulations on the introduction of the Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcast (DTTB) service:

Section 1. Definition of Terms

Section 1.1. Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting (DTTB) - An implementation of the digital technology in the television service intended to provide a greater number of Standard Definition Television (SDTV) channels and/or better quality of picture (e.g. HDTV) and sound (eg. AAC, EAC3, Dolby Digital) through a conventional aerial antenna instead of a satellite or cable connection. It also pertains to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT).

Section 1.2. Integrated Services Digital Broadcast Terrestrial (lSDB-T) - A flexible digital television (DTV) transmission system that is capable of providing three (3) levels of hierarchical modulation that can carry audio, video and data services to fixed, mobile and handheld terminals using a single transmission facility with an integrated Emergency Warning Broadcast System (EWBS).

Section 1.3. Standard Definition TV (SDTV) - A television broadcasting system that has a resolution of 480 lines per frame.

Section 1.4. High Definition TV (HDTV) - A television broadcasting system with a resolution higher than 480 lines per frame.

Section 1.5. Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting (DTTB) Service - The service or set of services provided by a television broadcast service provider using digital technology, whether fixed or mobile, which may include, but are not limited to, television broadcast services, audio broadcast services, data broadcast services and such other services as may become available in the future.

Section 1.6. Single Frequency Network (SFN) – A transmission scheme where several broadcast transmitters simultaneously send the same signal content/program over the same 6 MHz frequency channel over an approved service area.

Section 1.7. Emergency Warning Broadcast System (EWBS) – A system in DTTB service that shall be activated to alert and guide the public of an impending or ongoing emergency situation by delivering warning information through an audible sound and the superimposition of data to various types of lSDB-T receivers that are automatically activated.

Section 1.8. Duly Authorized Analog TV Operator - A duly enfranchised TV broadcast network in possession of a valid Provisional Authority (PA) or Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) for VHF or UHF analog TV broadcast operations upon effectivity of this IRR.

Section 1.9. Data Broadcasting/Datacasting – A method of delivering Rich Text and graphics on the screen including the details and instructions from Emergency Warning Broadcast of an ISDB-T service.

Section 1.10. One Seg – A mandated service in DTT for broadcasting to handheld and portable devises. Such service shall contain the free to air legacy program and the support for the display of Emergency Warning Broadcast information.

Section 1.11. Analog Shut-Off (ASO) - The date in the approved Migration Plan for the mandatory termination of all analog television services in the Philippines.

Section 1.12. Digital Switch On (DSO) - The date of effectivity of this

Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).

Section 1.13. Transition Period - The period beginning with DSO until the


Section 1.14. Service Area - The geographic area over which a Duly Authorized Analog TV operator is authorized to provide its broadcast services or the authorized service area approved for a new DTTB station.

Section 1.15. Broadcast Markup Language (BML) – A data-transmission markup language allowing text to be displayed on an ISDB-T enabled device.

operating system (software that provides access to resources and devices) and the applications.

Section 2. General Provisions

Section 2.1. The ISDB-T standard shall be the sole standard in the delivery of DTTB services in the country.

Section 2.2. The provisioning of DTTB services shall be allowed upon effectivity of this IRR.

Section 2.2.a. The analog VHF-TV service shall neither be disrupted nor terminated until further orders or approval of the Commission.

Section 2.2.b. Duly authorized analog VHF TV operators shall be required to simulcast their DTTB service together with the analog TV service within one (1) year upon the grant of Authority to provide DTTB service subject to the provisions of this lRR and other pertinent rules and regulations that the NTC may issue in the future. If any VHF TV operator is unable to simulcast, other qualified UHF TV operators may be allowed to use for their simulcast the frequency assigned to the VHF operator that is unable to simulcast, subject to Section 2.2.c.

Section 2.2.c. Analog UHF-TV operators may go directly to DTTB service anytime during the Transition Period using their assigned analog UHF-TV frequency, provided that a notice or advisory to the viewing public shall be given at least one month before the start of operations of the DTTB Service.

Analog UHF TV operators may also simulcast, subject to availability of frequencies, together with their analog TV service within one (1) year upon the grant of Authority to provide DTTB service. This is also subject to the provisions of this IRR and other pertinent rules and regulations that the NTC may issue in the future. The NTC shall issue the appropriate guidelines for the assignment of frequencies for such analog UHF TV operators.

Section 2.2.d. All DTTB stations shall provide a minimum of 51 dB$V/m rooftop (10 meters) reception for its approved service area.

Section 2.3. A duly authorized DTTB service provider shall have the option, manifested in its application to the NTC, to adopt either single or multi-program HDTV format or single or multi-program SDTV format, or any combination thereof, for its digital service. Any subsequent change in the program format that results in degradation or termination of an existing program shall require prior written approval from the NTC. In case of failure by the NTC to issue its decision after fifteen (15) days from the filing of an application for change or termination of format, the application shall be deemed approved.

Section 2.4. The provision of new programs in addition to the analog legacy program is encouraged. The provision of HD programs is likewise encouraged.

Section 2.5. UHF frequencies identified by the Commission, each with a bandwidth of 6 MHz, may be utilized for the provision of DTTB Service during the Transition period.

Section 2.6. Applications for DTTB service by entities with no existing Authorization for analog TV service at the time of approval of the IRR shall not be granted during the transition period in Mega Manila which consists of Metro Manila including the Provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal. Authorizations for new DTTB Service may be granted outside Mega Manila during the transition period subject to frequency availability in the area being applied for.

Section 2.7. The broadcasters chose Broadcast Markup Language (BML) to be used for the smooth implementation of the EWBS function.

Section 2.8. No analog TV service shall be allowed after ASO. The ASO shall be reviewed five (5) years after DSO in order to determine the extent to which the objective/targets of the Transition Plan, in relation to Section 5.6, have been achieved/satisfied.

Section 3. Qualification of Applicants for DTTB Service

The following Entities with a valid Congressional Franchise to provide a TV broadcasting service may apply for an authorization to operate a DTTB Service in their Franchise Area:

  1. Existing Duly Authorized Analog TV Operators;
  2. Entities with pending petitions for the issuance of authorizations to provide analog TV service desiring to amend their respective petitions for the issuance of authorizations to provide DTT service; and
  3. Entities with no existing petition for the issuance of an authorization for analog TV service.

No petitions or applications for new DTTB Service shall be granted by the NTC until all existing duly authorized analog operators have been granted their applications and assigned their DTT frequencies, subject to the provision of Section 4.2.

Section 4. Qualification Criteria and Petitions for DTTB Service

Section 4.1. Applicants intending to provide DTTB service shall possess the following minimum qualifications:

  1. Holder of a Congressional Broadcast Franchise in the area applied for;
  2. Must have the financial capacity to install, operate and maintain a DTTB service and
  3. Must prove that it has the technical capability to install, operate and maintain the proposed DTTB network.

Section 4.2. A duly authorized analog TV operator desiring to provide DTTB service shall file within sixty (60) days from effectivity of this IRR a Manifestation in the case/s pertaining to its analog TV Petition/s, indicating its intention to

that fails to convert its analog TV service to DTT within the transition period shall result in the cancellation of its Authority/Permit and the automatic recall of its frequency assignment.

Section 4.3. Pending petitions for authorization to provide analog TV service may be amended by motion into a petition for authorization to provide DTTB Service. The petitioner shall comply with all the requirements of this IRR and prove its legal, technical, and financial capability to provide DTTB Service. Pending petitions for a new analog TV service which are not converted to a petition to provide DTTB Service within one hundred eighty (180) days from the date of effectivity of this IRR shall be dismissed by the NTC.

Section 4.4. A duly enfranchised entity with no existing petition or application for issuance of an authorization to provide analog TV service that desires to provide DTTB Service shall file the requisite petition for each service area in which it intends to provide DTTB Service. The petitioner shall state its legal, technical and financial capability to provide such service; and type of DTTB services to be provided; and the schedule for providing said services; provided, that an applicant for DTTB shall provide at least one (1) free-to-air program.

Section 4.5. A separate petition shall be filed for each new or additional service area applied for.

Section 4.6. All pending petitions for the issuance of authorizations to provide DTTB Service shall be amended to comply with the requirements of this Memorandum Circular.

Section 4.7. Upon the effectivity of this IRR, petitions or applications for new authorization to install and operate new analog TV broadcast stations shall no longer be accepted by the Commission.

Section 5. Spectrum Allocation

Section 5.1. The frequency bands, 512-698 MHz (Channels 21 to 51) are hereby allocated for the implementation of the DTTB service.

Section 5.2. A bandwidth of 6 MHz shall be assigned for each authorized DTTB Service per service area.

Section 5.3. Where it is technically feasible, single frequency network (SFN) shall be allowed.

Section 5.4. The NTC shall take steps to provide the opportunity to UHF TV stations to simulcast by allocating frequencies that may become available.

Section 5.5. UHF TV stations shall be given equitable opportunity in the assignment of frequencies that may become available for simulcast after all VHF TV stations have been assigned their simulcast frequencies.

Section 5.6. The transition and migration from analog TV to DTTB Service shall be based on a Transition Plan formulated by the NTC in consultation with the broadcast industry. The Transition Plan shall specify the following:

  1. The specific DTTB frequencies to be assigned to duly authorized analog VHF TV operators in each of their respective service areas;
  2. The schedule for filing of applications for DTTB Service for the various categories of qualified applicants specified in Section 3; and
  3. The period allowed for the construction of DTTB stations for the various categories of qualified applicants specified in Section 3.

Section 5.7. All analog TV Broadcast Transmissions shall be terminated on the ASO specified in the approved Migration Plan.

Section 6. Sale of TV Sets and Set-Top Boxes

Manufacturers and importers of brand new TV receiving sets shall indicate in each TV set whether the same can receive analog signal only and will require a set top box or whether the same can receive lSDB-T programs. The following labels shall be used for television sets and set-top boxes:

  1. ISDB-T ready STB;
  2. Non-ISDB-T ready STB;
  3. ISDB-T ready TV; and
  4. Analog TV

Section 7. All other standards specific to the Philippine DTTB system is hereto attached as Annex “A” of this IRR.

Section 8. Migration Plan

A DTTB Migration Plan shall be issued later by the government. The Migration Plan is a comprehensive plan that intends to address the policy, regulatory and technical issues as well as fiscal considerations, industry and consumer support interventions, and other measures necessary for the country’s migration to Digital TV broadcasting, including the date of the planned ASO. The NTC shall issue the corresponding additional Rules and Regulations in accordance with the approved Migration Plan.

Section 9. Repealing Clause

Any Circular, Order or Memorandum or parts thereof inconsistent herewith are deemed superseded and/or amended accordingly.

Section 10. Effectivity

This Circular shall take effect fifteen (15) days after publication in a newspaper of general circulation and upon filing with the UP Law Center of three (3) certified copies of this IRR.

Quezon City, Philippines, 16 December 2014


Deputy Commissioner
Deputy Commissioner
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