Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Memoranda

Annex A


The Government's White Paper: Opportunity for all in a world of change, published on 13 February 2001 set out measures to promote the development and take-up of digital television. As the first part of this strategy, DTI and DCMS working with key players in the public and private sector will:

  • develop a comprehensive action plan to maximise the benefits of digital television;

  • launch several small scale digital pilots offering free conversion to digital television to defined communities;

  • promote public understanding of the benefits digital television can offer; and

  • ensure clearer and more informative labelling of digital television services and equipment.

On 27 March, Government announced the promotion of the Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) logo as a means for consumers to identify those television sets which are capable of receiving digital signals from those which cannot. This was in response to concerns that customer confusion was creating a serious risk of consumers being misled. The logo was given wide promotion on ITV over the Easter weekend.

In April, the Government announced details of a programme to provide a series of neighbourhoods across the country with free conversion to digital television. The programme will help Government and industry understand better the practical and social issues consumers face in switching from analogue to digital television services. The scheme is being led by the ITC who announced in August that an area encompassing Sutton Coldfield, Litchfield and Tamworth will provide the location for the first "Go Digital" TV pilot project.

The Government also announced a programme to be run by the ITC to boost the power of digital signals from 8 key transmitters. This will allow many more viewers to receive high quality digital terrestrial television.

In June, a comprehensive question and answer leaflet was placed on the DCMS and DTI websites in October a dedicated government website; was set up to give industry and consumers clear, up to date information on digital television. In November, Free-to-View Digital TV - a guide for retail staff produced by the Digital TV Group, was distributed to staff in digital television retail outlets.

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Prepared 13 March 2002