The Cumbrian town of Whitehaven is now an analogue free zone following the removal of the analogue signals from BBC One, ITV1 and Channel 4. BBC Two commenced the process on October 17.
Transmission company Arqiva confirmed that the analogue switch off took place this morning (November 14) at 02.00. The sequence that culminated in the switch on of digital signals from Multiplex 2 and Multiplex B was completed at 03.27. A total of three relay stations have been converted to digital: Whitehaven, Eskdale Green and Gosforth.
“Whitehaven has seen the start of the Digital Switch Over process and the engineering team at Arqiva is extremely proud to be involved with what is the largest broadcast engineering project in UK history,” said Peter Heslop, DSO programme director at Arqiva “We now look to the next stage in the plan and will be working towards Digital Switch Over at Selkirk next November and at all the remaining sites by 2012.”
As is the case with the approximate 25% of the UK that will not receive DTT signals until after analogue has been switched off, residents in Whitehaven will only be able to view services from the public service channels and their digital spin-offs, with Five currently being transmitted as a test signal before finding a place in a public service multiplex once the Caldbeck main station is switched in 2009.