The Whitehaven, Gosforth and Eskdale Green transmitters will switchover to digital in October this year. The technical characteristics for each transmitter have been chosen to allow their predicted digital coverage levels to match current analogue coverage levels.
The switchover will begin in Whitehaven and the surrounding area on 17 October and in the rest of Copeland as part of the wider border region in late 2008.
Public awareness of switchover in Copeland is now 97 per cent. and 71 per cent. of primary sets have already been converted in advance of the area switching in October.
The contractor for operating the help scheme in Copeland, Capita, has now been appointed.
In addition, of those asked none has stated that they will not convert at least one set prior to switchover.
Households in the Whitehaven area where at least one person is registered blind or registered partially-sighted or with a severe disability will be provided with the appropriate equipment to convert one TV set and, where necessary, the relevant help to install and use such equipment and an aerial installation.
We estimate that around 8,500 households will be eligible for assistance from the digital switchover help scheme (DSHS) in the Copeland constituency. The vast majority will be eligible for help when the Whitehaven transmitters are switched over in between October and November 2007. All others will be eligible when the Caldbeck transmitter switches in early 2009.
We estimate that around 36 per cent. of those eligible, will be eligible for free assistance on the grounds of receiving pension credit, income support and income based job seeker's allowance. 64 per cent. of those eligible, will be eligible for assistance subject to a charge of £40.