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Digital Switchover

Volume 449: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what steps she is taking to ensure that proprietors of homes in multiple dwelling units are informed of the necessary steps to upgrade their properties to receive digital television; (87817)

(2) what steps she is taking to encourage private landlords to upgrade their properties to provide digital television services to their tenants.

The digital switchover programme, led by Digital UK working with Government and Ofcom, has established a dedicated workstream on housing issues. This will make sure the progress in converting communal television systems is tracked and that the right messages go to private and social landlords and to managing agents and other representatives. It will also be important to make sure that tenants are aware of what is happening, something Digital UK will do as part of its wider communications campaigns.

The housing workstream is supported by a dedicated Housing Stakeholder Group, chaired by Ross Fraser, the chief executive of Housemark and drawn from representatives from the private and social housing sectors, from practitioners, and from tenants’ representatives, as well as central and local government.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions her Department has had with (a) the National Landlords Association and (b) the National Housing Federation since 2001 on the provision of digital television services to tenants in private accommodation. (87818)

We have had extensive contacts with the National Landlords Association and National Housing Federation regarding the provision of digital television services and digital switchover. Both organisations were represented on the editorial board which oversaw the development of the “Digital Switchover: A Good Practice Briefing Special", which we published, in association with the Chartered Institute of Housing in August 2005.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether it is her policy to support the use of integrated reception systems to provide digital services in multiple dwelling units. (87823)

No. It is for landlords in consultation with residents to determine the most appropriate way of adapting communal TV aerial systems for digital television services.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the transmitter upgrade timetable is for digital switchover in Wales. (88858)

Digital switchover will begin in the second half of 2009 in the HTV Wales region. We hope to be able to provide more specific information on the transmitter timetable for Wales later in the year, as well as for the west country and Granada regions, where the process will also begin in 2009.