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