DTT services in the UK could be moved to new frequencies under Ofcom plans to align spectrum released under the digital dividend with continental Europe.
Only a limited number of viewers are likely to be impacted – in any case a receiver retune is often necessary as a part of the digital switchover process – and no material affects on coverage or reception are anticipated.
There had been criticism from parties including the European Broadcasting Union that the UK auction process could result in a patchwork quilt of technologies and frequencies.
Ofcom says that when the government took the decision in 2003 to auction a digital dividend the plan involved releasing two distinct bands of spectrum including a 48 MHz block between 806 and 854 MHz. Subsequently administrations in Finland, France, Sweden and Switzerland have announced plans to release a wider 72MHz block, making the whole of the so-called 800MHz band available.
A full statement is anticipated later this year ahead of the spectrum auction in 2010.