Digital Switchover

Culture Media and Sport written question – answered on 1st March 2005.

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Photo of Roger Gale Roger Gale Conservative, North Thanet

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she expects to announce the details of regional pilot schemes in preparation for digital switchover; what role regional pilot schemes will have in determining the date for digital switchover; and if she will make a statement.

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)

The Government has no plans for regional pilot schemes. However, we are currently conducting a technical trial in South Wales to gauge the technical and consumer issues associated with the switchover process. This trial is not a blueprint for regional rollout but a vital part of the preparation for the national switchover.

The order in which regions will be switched off is not one for the Government: it will be based on technical criteria and agreed between broadcasters, multiplex operators and Ofcom.

Ofcom have issued a statement on the indicative regional order. This is available from the Ofcom website at: www.ofcom.org.uk.

The Government will confirm the timetable once all the remaining issues relating to digital switchover are resolved and we are satisfied that the interests of consumers, especially the most vulnerable, are well protected.

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