Feeds

Luvvies get temporary reprieve

West End not reduced to opera as yet

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

Ofcom has guaranteed some radio channels will be available for the wireless microphones used in theatre and for events, at least until 2009 - but the available frequencies won't be the same across the country, which could be a nightmare for touring shows.

The problem for Programme Making & Special Events (PMSE) users is the uncertainty as to what frequency will be available where, as the country switches to digital TV. This lack of information is preventing companies investing in radio equipment, in the fear that it might become impossible to use within a few years.

Ofcom has now stated that channels 63-69 will be available in the first areas to switch over, but only until 2009 when those frequencies are sold off.

The British Entertainment Industry Radio Group told Policy Tracker that this is "a small but significant" decision. But what the group would like to see is all the auction details made available and no usage of the ex-analogue blocks until 2013.

"There is nothing stopping Ofcom from getting on and designing the auctions for the released spectrum," says the group. "But the awards should stipulate that it cannot be used for new services until 2013."

The group points out that this would ensure effective operation of PMSE services at the 2012 Olympics.

In June, Ofcom put out a consultation document suggesting that either a body be established to bid for frequencies for resale to productions, or that a block of frequency be reserved until 2018, in the hope that a technical solution would make the problem go away by then. A decision on those options isn't expected until the end of the year.

PMSE users have always had privileged access to the spaces between the analogue TV channels, and the switch to digital threatens to leave them shouting, or going back to wired equipment. The industry has argued it needs special treatment thanks to the money it brings into the country (in terms of tourism), very little of which goes directly to the theatres or their productions. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

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
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
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
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.