“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.