THE National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said it is not certain it can meet its deadline for shutting down analog television because of the slower-than-expected digital TV rollout.

“We are still looking at this year, but this is still tentative,” NTC Commissioner Ella Blanca Lopez told reporters Monday.

The commission had originally intended to phase out analog television broadcasting in 2023, but Ms. Lopez said many households are still not digital-ready.

Mahirap naman na i-shutdown mo tapos hindi pa digital ready lahat (It will be too disruptive if we shut it down when not everyone is digital-ready),” Ms. Lopez said.

According to the commissioner, digital penetration nationwide has not yet hit 50% with most digital-ready households located in Metro Manila.

Mataas-taas na ang penetration sa Metro Manila, pero sa ibang region hindi pa. Malabo pa po yung sa provinces (The digital penetration in Metro Manila is high, but not in the regions. The provinces are not yet ready),” Ms. Lopez said.

Ms. Lopez said various networks have been rolling out digitalization initiatives to the regions in the footsteps of ABS-CBN.

Nagro-rollout na rin ang ibang networks (The other networks are also rolling out), so I think we will get there,” Ms. Lopez said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile