Advanced Television

Freeview reach falling short

March 27, 2008

A quarter of Freeview households in Wales and Northern Ireland – and a fifth in the Meridian and Anglia regions of England – will not have full access to the digital terrestrial TV channels after analogue switchoff, according to media regulator Ofcom.

Freeview will reach just 73 per cent of Wales and 75 per cent of Northern Ireland from 2012, when switchover is completed due to mountainous terrain interfering with terrestrial transmitter reception in some areas and the need to avoid the signal overlapping with the Republic of Ireland. In England, the Anglia and Meridian regions will have 80 per cent coverage, again because their signals could overlap with foreign territories, in this case France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

“There are simply not enough frequencies available to allow all the multiplexes to be available across the whole UK – we have to accept limitations in some areas, as do other countries,” Ofcom said.

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