November 09, 2005

Digital switchover and the north/south divide

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So what would you say was the wealthiest region of the country? Probably the South-East. So which region do you think would be best equipped to buy new digital receivers for when the government turns off the analogue signal – probably one and the same right?

So interesting that according to this plan the South-East will be the last region to get it, and the rest of the country has to fork out first! Bah! On the other hand Tyneside also appears to be in there at the end – not quite sure how that fits into my equation.

Don't know what I'm worrying about, I've had Sky for years…

- 3 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. There's a good reason for it – they're not sure whether the 'strengthened' digital signal that will be turned on when analogue is switched off will affect France and the Republic of Ireland. The South East – being nearer France, obviously – will be the last to switch as the strength of the signal will have to be carefully decided so as not to screw up French signals. Same with Ulster/Republic.

    09 Nov 2005, 18:27

  2. Ah, statistics and generalisations can prove anything; don't forget that the South East also contains the poorest areas in the country – and the greatest number of people. I believe that fact points to a reason for the South East being last: they want to iron out all the major problems in the less-populated areas. Less damaging to popularity all round (especially with the South West, notably devoid of 'red' constituencies, being one of the very first regions to be switched – call me a cynic?). Interesting point, Chris, not something I'd appreciated before – even though it's restrospectively quite obvious.

    The controversy should really be over the fact that the Government is insisting the BBC pays for most of the capital cost, subsidises set-top boxes to the elderly and disadvantaged, etc., and that the public should stump up the rest, when a prime reason for switching solely to digital is that it will make the existing analogue frequencies available for sale or lease. Revenue from this (and there's a national transmission system already in place for these frequencies!) could be far greater than the billions paid by mobile phone companies when the 3G licences were up for auction a few years ago.

    09 Nov 2005, 20:52

  3. Have to agree with you there Simon – I keep thinking about my not-exactly-well off parental unit and her multiple TVs – not sure if she'll count as elderly enough to get the help by the time it all kicks in!

    10 Nov 2005, 08:22

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