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British broadcasters fret over their place in the broadband spectrum

Don't want the television to be left in the dark
Tue Jan 21 2014, 15:13
Old television

AN UMBRELLA OUTFIT of British broadcasters has spat out its dummy over its perception that mobile broadband is treated more warmly than their own services.

The group is called Digital UK and includes the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 among its members. In a report (pdf) it said that it's time to smash the idea that "mobile broadband delivers more value from airwaves than television".

Digital UK said that the freeview business actually delivers £80bn value to the UK economy and should be treated as an equal, particularly when you consider that a great deal of mobile internet access takes place over wireless connections.

"This report sheds new light on the value of DTT (digital terrestrial television) for viewers, the UK television sector and wider economy," said Digital UK chief executive Jonathan Thompson. "With increasing demand for spectrum it is critical that DTT remains a strong proposition with the same coverage and range of channels viewers enjoy today."

Digital UK will turn its own eyes to the UK government and attempt to put its focus on its aims. It warns that while recent spectrum allocation has favoured mobile broadband, it has also put DTT at risk by giving it much less space in the network.

In a joint letter BBC director general Tony Hall, ITV CEO Adam Crozier, Channel 4 CEO David Abraham, and Arqiva CEO John Cresswell opined that better treatment of TV broadcasters and more investment in them will keep the UK as a world leader in television.

The letter calls on colleagues to strike the right balance between meeting consumer expectations and feathering the free to air UK television nest. µ


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