Local TV services will need to compromise if their services are to continue after digital switchover. As part of the Digital Dividend Review, Ofcom has identified that local channels could either be interleaved into the national TV multiplexes or broadcast from separate local transmitters.
Including local TV services into one of the existing multiplexes would offer extensive coverage, broadcasting to a wider area than served editorially, however there would be restrictions on the amount of service information that could be included in the programme guide.
Using a separate transmitter would offer greater flexibility, but less coverage than if carried in a national multiplexes. Surveys suggest there are enough frequencies to allow local services to be broadcast from between 40 to 80 transponders.
By coincidence Milestone TV, which operates two channels in Oxford and Southampton under the Six TV brand, today called on Ofcom to make clear its plans for local TV. Ofcom had previously extended the Milestone licences to run until 2011. (JC)