Digital Broadcasting

Culture Media and Sport written question – answered on 1st November 2004.

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Photo of Tom Levitt Tom Levitt PPS (Rt Hon Hilary Benn, Secretary of State), Department for International Development

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the timetable for providing free to air digital broadcasting to High Peak.

Photo of Ms Estelle Morris Ms Estelle Morris Minister of State (Arts), Department for Culture, Media & Sport, Minister of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) (Arts)

Free to air digital services via Digital Terrestrial Television are unlikely to be available throughout the High Peak area until Switchover because of spectrum constraints. The BBC and Ofcom believe that Switchover could start to happen as early as 2007 and be completed by 2012.

Discussions are taking place between the Government, Ofcom, and the Public Service Broadcasters and other stakeholders on the detailed plans for switchover. However, no specific dates have been set for the conversion of individual transmitters (with the exception of the Technical Trial transmitter in Ferryside where we plan Switchover in March 2005).

Some free to air services are available via digital satellite. Unfortunately, a regional breakdown of digital satellite reception is not possible, but, according to Ofcom figures, digital satellite coverage currently stands at between 96 per cent. and 98 per cent. of all UK households.

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