Incentivise UK Digital Switch, Ofcom Tells Government

07 April 2004

UK communications regulator Ofcom has warned the government it will have to offer financial incentives if it wants to complete the transition from analogue to digital television.

In its report on the dTV switchover released this week, Ofcom argues that "clear and unambiguous" incentives are needed to wean Britons from analogue TV.

In addition, the regulator suggests that state-owned broadcasters the BBC and Channel 4 could be forced to pay for access to the analogue spectrum as a way of encouraging the roll-out of digital services.

And Ofcom believes a national marketing campaign and a company dedicated to implementing the switchover would also be necessary.

The government is yet to announce a detailed timetable for the phasing out of analogue -- possibly because threatening to deprive millions of Britons of their TV signal would be a risky move ahead of a general election. Officials insist there are no plans to subsidise the replacement of the nation's analogue TV sets.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff