U.K. Completes Digital Switchover


LONDON: The transition from analogue to digital terrestrial television in the U.K. is now officially complete, paving the way for Ofcom to start the process of auctioning the airwaves that were previously occupied.

The switchover marks the end of more than 70 years of analogue broadcasting in the country. Region by region, the U.K. has spent the last five years gradually switching off its five national analogue TV channels, which have been replaced with more than 70 digital channels. This has also freed up capacity for mobile broadband services. Northern Ireland was the last to make the switch and completed the transition today. 

Ed Richards, Ofcom’s chief executive, said: "The U.K.’s switchover to digital has been a huge success. Not only has is created more TV choice for consumers, it has also freed up vital capacity that will be used to deliver mobile broadband services to 98 percent of cities, towns and villages across the U.K.

"Now that the switchover is complete, Ofcom is looking forward to delivering the 4G auction as the next step in delivering new higher speed mobile broadband services."