I'm here at SAPPHIRE NOW in Frankfurt, but I'm seeing news reports that a Latvian parliamentary committee is pushing changes in the Law on Electronic Media that would allow regional and small municipal television stations to defy the European Union (EU) mandated switch to all-digital terrestrial broadcasting and continue broadcasting in analog until the end of 2013.
This would throw a wrench into plans to use frequencies freed up by the digital switchover for wireless broadband (possibly 3G) and risk loosing Latvia some EUR 19 million in EU funds earmarked for wireless broadband.
A Ministry of Transport official said that Latvia, in effect was throwing away its digital dividend. Building out wireless broadband in the countryside (and it is countryside folk who parliamentarians are trying to spare the expense of decoders for the digital switchover) without EU support at a later date will be significantly more expensive.
I don't have all the details, but it looks like a typical provincial f**kwit move that will backfire on those it was supposed to benefit.