Feeds

Ofcom squeezes local TV into 20 cities' tight White Spaces

Grimbsy, Swansea, London and others in the frame

The next step in data security

Ofcom has identified 20 locations where it believes local telly, broadcast in White Space, is technically possible, and stands the best chance of being commercially viable.

The list includes Birmingham and Glasgow as well as Norwich and Leeds, but it's the London site which will most likely be contested by bidders. Those hopefuls will be judged on the size of their potential, rather than the size of their wallets, but Ofcom will be taking into account any ability to push their broadcasts into neighbouring population centres as every viewer will be needed if local TV is going to work.

The local stations will use geographically-interleaved frequencies, so-called White Spaces, which are being used to broadcast television elsewhere in the country. Full-power transmissions would interfere with those broadcasts, but by ratcheting down the power it is possible to run a local telly station without interfering with other broadcasts.

Making money out of that station is another matter entirely. Manchester's Channel M was probably the best punt at a sustainable local broadcast TV channel, and has consistently failed to bring in a significant amount of cash under a succession of owners despite extensive support from the University of Salford.

Some local television survives by limiting itself to web-based distribution, but the government is committed to the creation of local TV and Ofcom is, ultimately, responsible for implementing government commitments.

The BBC will have to cough up £40m to pay for these local services, £25m in an initial splurge to get MuxCo - the yet-to-be-established local broadcaster - set up, followed by a promise to spend £15m of licence-payer money on content from the local stations once they are established.

The details of that process, including how the MuxCo contract will be awarded, will be published in the next couple of weeks, but anyone dreaming of their own local TV station will need to be in Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Grimsby, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Preston, Southampton or Swansea, and have a really clever business plan to make it pay. ®

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

More from The Register

next story
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
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
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.
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.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.