Digital UK: Leaving no-one behind

Principal authors: Beth Thoren, Digital UK; Rachell Fox, Switchover Help Scheme; Chris Baker, DLKW Lowe; Emma Reeve and Anthony Morrison, MediaCom
Contributing authors: Carola Breuning and Sophie Reeve, Digital UK; Jon Wilson, MediaCom; Richard Warren and Zoe Verrion, DLKW Lowe

"Analogue switchoff is vastly more complex, with more potential for chaos and consumer revolt than any other civilian project in our history, including North Sea gas conversion and decimalisation."

David Elstein, then CEO of Channel 5 – Commons Select Committee, 2005

As we near successful completion of digital switchover, it's hard to remember just how challenging the task looked when announced in 2005.

Strong concerns were voiced at the Select Committee1, many centred on the risk that the old and vulnerable would lose their TV lifeline. Media coverage was predictably negative, with nervousness in the highest places, right down to concerns about the negative effect of a problematic Granada switchover in late 2009 on the General Election result.