DTG SUMMIT 2008 – LONDON. A team from the Digital TV Group has published proposals on the future use of terrestrial spectrum in the UK. The plan builds on the DTG’s earlier response to Ofcom’s Digital Dividend Review, the conclusions of which are due to be published within the next few weeks.
Under the plan two national single frequency networks would allow for an initial eight additional HD channels. Using single frequencies would mean a restriction in the number of regional opt-outs used by the public broadcasters for both local news and advertising.
“If you look at the richness of the offerings available from satellite and cable, by the time we get to [analogue switch-off] the offer would be sufficient for the consumer to buy into the terrestrial platform,” Dr Ian Childs, who chaired the group, told the DTG Summit in London on Friday. He said that a way needed to be found to migrate totally to HD and the use of single frequency networks could enable 40 HD channels across just 22 frequencies – ten less than at present.
Dr Childs agreed that it would be embarrassing for Britain to return to the negotiating table just two years after the completion of the WARC frequency-planning meeting in Geneva. However, he said that it might be possible to have discussions with individual member countries, in order to clear individual channels.
He stressed that at this early stage that the report was one that had been made by the group to the DTG, rather than the proposal of the organisation.