Feeds

Ofcom urges gov to act on digital TV switchover

C'mon now, don't be shy

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The Government must stop procrastinating over plans for the UK to be a nation of digital TV viewers and should set a date for ditching analogue transmission.

In its first report into the subject, communications regulator Ofcom, said there should be "greater certainty" to the timing of the digital switchover.

"An announcement of a timetable would significantly extend digital penetration in the UK and would help allow digital switchover to be achieved between 2007 and the end of 2010," said the regulator.

Boffins at Ofcom also said that the switchover should be phased in, region-by-region so that TV screens don't go blank overnight.

Among the 23 recommendations contained in Driving Digital Switchover, Ofcom said existing terrestrial channels need to be available as part of a free-to-view satellite service. And if it's not forthcoming voluntarily, it might even consider regulation to ensure that services are available to all.

Said Ofcom: "Free-to-view digital satellite could play an important role in increasing take-up among those who do not want pay TV. But free-to-view access to all the public service broadcasters is currently not possible on digital satellite. Ofcom will consider whether regulatory intervention is needed to secure a viable free-to-view satellite proposition."

Welcoming today's report, the Ofcom Consumer Panel - the independent body set up to advise Ofcom on consumer interests - said that consumers would benefit from the digital switchover.

But the consumer group warned that the costs of the switchover could hit some disadvantaged people, such as pensioners, who might not be able to afford new kit to receive digital TV. It also warned the people needed to be kept informed about the switchover.

Said Colette Bowe, chairman of the consumer panel: "We can't leave information provision to the last minute. The Panel will be taking a close interest in the information that is provided to consumers about digital switchover. There will need to be completely clear, helpful, non-technical advice widely available." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.