Ofcom Warns: 2010 UK Analog Switch Off Unlikely

Tessa Jowell has described the UK’s progress towards analogue switch-off as astonishing – yet Ofcom has warned that it’s running late: two years late.

Stephen Carter, chief executive of Ofcom has said that 2012 is a much more realistic date for the goal of 95% of homes with digital TV.

“If you want to turn the analogue signal off in 2010, you have to start making the transmitter deployment and regional deployment decisions in 2006, which means that you have to have done all the planning in 2005 – that’s next year.” Carter said. Carter believes that the BBC’s new estimate of 2012 is more likely.

Jowell, the Secretary of State for Culture has previously stated that the UK has been making great progress towards a planned 2010 switch-over.

A Department of Trade and Industry survey has found that, although 52% of home in the UK can receive digital television, 25% cannot – and 13% refuse to convert. Many are possibly thinking of converting nearer the time, but the huge scale of the operation means that planning and adoption needs to happen as early as possible to meet the 2010 target.


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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?