Ofcom’s Digital Switch Over Report

“Driving Digital Switchover”, Ofcom’s report to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, contains 30 findings and recommendations for the UK’s move to digital broadcasting, and the decommissioning of analogue signals.

  • Ofcom are recommending that the switch, due to be completed by the end of 2010, should be phased in region by region, shutting down analogue channels one at a time. They believe that a firm timetable will encourage the adoption of digital broadcasting between 2007 and 2010.
  • Additionally, they suggest that the UK Government review the BBC’s obligations to digital and add further requirements, including: obligations on rolling-out digital transmission nationwide, providing public information, continuing to provide its channels on the free-to-view satellite platform, and providing on-air marketing of digital TV on a platform-neutral basis.
  • Importantly, Ofcom believe that free-to-view digital satellite will play an important part in increasing adoption of digital viewing, particularly with those who do not wish to subscribe to services such as Sky. Ofcom is considering regulatory intervention “to secure a viable free-to-view satellite proposition.”
  • SwitchCo is the body that Ofcom are suggesting is created to be responsible for managing the switch-over by the agreed date. The suggest that the body is entirely independent and not run by the government, any broadcaster or even Ofcom.

About the Report

The Report

Published by

Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?