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New broadcasting service by January

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Nov. 30, 2010) - New Caledonian television viewers have been given access to eight digital channels - less than a year before analogue broadcasts will be stopped.

France’s Audiovisual Council announced the switch as it extended digital TV to its overseas territories, saying it will ensure equal treatment with mainland France.

All but one of the stations is French.

The roll-out of digital broadcasting is expected to cover 95 percent of New Caledonia by January.

In September, the analogue signal will be discontinued.

[PIR editor’s note: New Caledonia has a unique autonomous status within the Republic of France established by the laws implementing the Noumea Accord of 1998. However, the Nouméa Accord provides a mechanism for the determination of the ultimate status and degree of New Caledonian territorial autonomy. The Territorial Congress will have the right to call for a referendum on independence in 2014. See story.]

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