Optimistic Outlook For UK dTV Switchover

07 October 2005

The number of UK homes without digital TV when the great analogue switchoff happens in 2012, will be fewer than predicted, says media watchdog Ofcom.

A report commissioned by the regulator, but yet to be released in full, says that over 90% of British households will be digitally enabled at the deadline, leaving around 2.3 million 'refuseniks'.

Digital UK, the organisation overseeing the switchover, says it is encouraged by a significant increase in dTV awareness after national print ads in the week following the Blair administration's announcement of the timetable [WAMN: 19-Sept-05].

According to a weekly poll by the British Market Research Bureau, awareness of the switchover rose from 50% of the country to 68%.

Comments Digital UK ceo Ford Ennals: "In the last year, 2.5 million more people in the UK have gone digital with an 18% increase in the second quarter of this year. I don't want to underestimate the size of the challenge ahead, but it is going to work."

The government has promised financial aid for disabled people to acquire digital equipment; also to homes where at least one person is aged 75 or over.

The £800 million ($1.44bn; €1.18bn) subsidy, which will help around six million people, will be bankrolled by the BBC from its license fee revenues.

Data sourced from MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff