Broadcasting minister Shaun Woodward has indicated there will be no special treatment for the terrestrial broadcasters seeking gifted capacity for HD transmissions.
“We’ve got an Ofcom review looking at the digital dividend,” Woodward told the Broadcasting Press Guild. “These technologies are changing so fast that the biggest mistake would be deciding now and closing the review.” Woodward pointed to the availability of mobile TV during the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the medium’s appeal to younger audiences. The deep pockets of the telcos are seen as presenting the greatest threat to linear broadcasters in any auction process.
While confirming that there would be an auction, Woodward said that plans to allow users of radio microphones to adopt interleaved spectrum had been put under review, following approaches from Microsoft. It is not known what purpose Microsoft might have for the spectrum should it post a successful bid.