UK Digital Platform Passes 10m Household Milestone

31 January 2006

The UK's free-to-air digital platform, Freeview, continues to make inroads into the nation's homes.

Media regulator Ofcom estimates there could be more than 10 million Freeview set-top boxes now in use, following a surge in sales during the 2005 year-end holiday season. The boxes, costing around £40 ($70; €58), give access to more than 30 free-to-air digital channels.

Ofcom's last official figures for digital TV takeup, published last month, show that at the end of September there were 8,914,800 Freeview receivers in the marketplace.

While pay-TV rival, NewsCorp-controlled BSkyB, also reported in December it had passed the eight million subscriber mark for its digital satellite service.

Delares Ofcom ceo Stephen Carter: "The UK has gone and is going digital". The Blair administration has set 2012 as the date for a final switchover to digital-only broadcasting.

Ofcom is now faced with the dilemma of what to do with the freed-up analog spectrum. Options include boosting high definition TV services or auctioning it to the highest bidders - likely to be telecom companies.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff