Illustrative image. (Photo:

Hanoi (VNA)
- More than 454,000 poor and near-poor households will receive set-top boxes, the assistance sub-committee for the steering committee for digitising television plans was told at a recent meeting.

The information and communications ministry has appointed the Vietnam Public-Utility Telecommunication Service Fund as the investor of the project, which will provide digital television set-top boxes to households.

The fund expects to complete the bidding process by April this year and install set-top boxes for 454,000 households that will be affected when Hanoi, Hai Phong, Can Tho and HCM City switch off analogue signals.

According to new criteria decided by the government, an income of 700,000 VND (31 USD) per person per month in rural areas and 900,000 VND (40 USD) per person per month in cities determines a household's poverty status.

Meanwhile, an income of 1 million USD (45 USD) per person per month in rural areas and 1.3 million VND (58 USD) per person per month in cities determines the near-poor status of a household.

According to the road map for switching off analogue signals, nine channels will be switched off in Hanoi, Can Tho and HCM City from the beginning of March.

In addition, for continuous and effective communication of digitalisation plans to residents of the four above-mentioned cities and 19 neighbouring provinces, the assistance sub-committee asked related agencies to quickly submit plans to the ministry to enforce them in the near future.

Previously, many communication channels such as SMS and video clips and audio clips on television and radio were used, when analogue signals were switched off in a pilot project in the central city of Da Nang.-VNA