More help is needed if the Government seriously wants to encourage Britons to switch to digital broadcasting, said the deputy-chief executive of Carlton Communications last night.

Speaking to a meeting of the Royal Television Society, Carlton’s Nigel Walmsley urged the government to provide more frequencies and more power to enable ONdigital [the struggling dTV platform jointly owned by Carlton and Granada Media] to reach a larger audience in the face of the dominant Murdoch-owned BSkyB.

But infrastructure support was not enough, said Walmsley, signalling the onset of a rhetorical question: “What is the point in asking the private sector (largely the ITV companies) to finance the build of a national digital terrestrial infrastructure while charging ITV £300 million a year in extra taxes?” he enquired.

Despite extending the begging bowl, Walmsley described ONdigital as making “good progress” which would be boosted by its imminent rebranding as ITV Digital [WAMN: 15-Apr-01], linking the platform more directly to the ITV network.

News source: The Times (London)