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Digital Television

Volume 450: debated on Tuesday 10 October 2006

11. To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what percentage of households in Dundee have access to digital television through a roof top aerial. (92576)

Ofcom estimates that over 80 per cent. of households in Dundee currently have access to digital terrestrial television.

Digital TV take-up in Scottish regions is 66 per cent.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what her most recent assessment is of the digital television coverage in (a) the Forest of Dean area and (b) other areas; and what steps are being taken to improve coverage in the Forest of Dean. (91775)

Ofcom estimates that around two thirds of homes in the Forest of Dean constituency currently receive digital terrestrial services. The majority of homes are able to receive digital TV via satellite, using appropriate equipment.

Three quarters of UK households are able to receive digital terrestrial television. Digital switchover will allow all those who currently receive a good analogue signal to receive digital TV via an aerial, ensuring that the vast majority of people have a choice of digital platform.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she is taking to ensure that digital services are accessible from new-build housing in the Government’s growth areas. (87820)

We recognise the importance of ensuring that digital services are readily accessible from new-build housing, and my officials are working with others in Government on the production of good practice guidance in this area for house builders.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what her assessment is of the level of awareness of the digital switchover in (a) the South West and (b) Forest of Dean constituency. (90172)

According to Digital UK, in Q2 2006, awareness of digital switchover in the ITV regions covering the South West was as follows:

Q2 switchover awareness

ITV region

Percentage

West country

77

West

175

Central

66

1 Small base size, to be viewed as indicative only.

Information is not available by parliamentary constituency.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what her estimate is of the (a) number and (b) percentage of households that will qualify for assistance in switching over to digital television. (90173)

We estimate that around 7 million UK households will qualify for assistance from the digital switchover help scheme between 2008 and 2012. This represents around 25 per cent. of all UK households by 2012.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how figures for digital television reception are collected and calculated; and whether any new transmitting devices are planned to be built prior to digital switchover. (91774)

Ofcom calculate digital terrestrial television coverage using a computer model dividing the UK into units of 50 metre squares using a database with details of all UK transmitter locations, frequencies, heights and powers. The model also makes assumptions about the height and condition of viewers’ aerials, the effects of incoming interference from distant UK and continental transmitters.

The digital terrestrial television network cannot be extended before digital switchover as additional transmitters would interfere with the existing analogue signals.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the readiness of the residents of Blaenau Gwent to switch to digital television. (92481)

DCMS does not hold specific information for Blaenau Gwent.

Research for Ofcom/Digital UK Switchover Tracker, which measures readiness for switchover in each region, demonstrates Wales has one of the highest levels of switchover awareness (71 per cent.). Wales has the highest take-up of digital television in any UK region. As of March 2006, 80 per cent. of Welsh households already had digital TV (Ofcom, Q1 2006).