Ofcom has published a draft Code of Practice in preparation for the transitional work necessary for digital switchover. The draft Code sets out what steps broadcasters should take to ensure maximum protection to existing viewers of analogue and digital terrestrial television services whilst enabling them to implement digital switchover in a timely and cost-effective manner. 

Digital switchover is scheduled to take place in the UK between 2008 and 2012, in accordance with the regional timetable set out by Government in September 2005. In order to achieve this timescale, an extensive programme of upgrading needs to begin on the UK’s transmission infrastructure.

Ofcom’s draft Code is designed to ensure that broadcasters and transmission companies make appropriate preparations to minimise any potential disruption to viewers from the implementation of the upgrade programme.

Ofcom’s proposals are intended to ensure that:

  • Viewers who are normally covered by existing analogue and digital terrestrial television services receive minimal disruption to the reception of these services during the transition; and
  • Broadcasters use a variety of mitigation techniques, including optimising the design of the antennas and adjusting the power of interfering services, to minimise the impact of digital switchover on UK viewers.