Russia switches to digital television

Russia fully switched to digital broadcasting, which cost RUR 167.5 bln ($2.6 bln). 

The changes started with a pilot project in the Tver Region back in December 2018. According to the initial plan, total digitalization of television was supposed to be completed in June but the government took into account the fact that in summer most Russians are on vacation. Therefore, switching analog transmitters took place in four stages. The last remaining 3K transmitters out of 13K were turned off October 14. 

Now almost 40 mio Russians can receive the digital TV signal, from a total of 21 regions that were involved in the fourth stage. The Ministry of Communications and Mass Media commented that the change matters for less than 2% of television viewers as the majority have long preferred cable, satellite or digital TV. 

The entire digitalization project cost RUR 167.5 bln, including RUR 97 bln ($1.5 bln) from the federal budget. Just under 50% of the money was used to build digital broadcast networks. 

Digital television includes about twenty federal channels. 

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