Skip to main content

Digital Broadcasting

Volume 488: debated on Monday 2 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent estimate he has made of the overlap between the 2 per cent. of households that cannot receive digital satellite services and the estimated 1.5 per cent. who will not have to be provided with a digital terrestrial signal after switchover; and if he will make a statement. (258455)

There has been no formal assessment of this overlap. However, research to estimate digital satellite coverage was carried out by Ofcom’s predecessor, the Independent Television Commission, in 1999.

This research arrived at the 98 per cent. coverage figure which found that the main contributory factor which resulted in 2 per cent. of households being unable to receive any satellite signals was man-made obstructions in built-up areas. For terrestrial transmission, the opposite situation to satellite applies, with transmitters located so as to serve population centres. The locations not covered by these transmitters are largely in remote, sparsely populated areas. This means that the overlap between the 2 per cent. for satellite and 1.5 per cent. for terrestrial digital TV should be very small.