Out-Law Guide 1 min. read
14 Feb 2007, 10:40 am
This page was previously called Digital Switchover (Disclosure of Information) Bill 2006–07.
The Bill received Royal Assent on 18 June 2007.
"Digital switchover" is the process by which analogue television broadcasting signals will be phased out in favour of digital signals. The process will allow many more television channels to be carried using less radio spectrum (a finite resource) than is currently used. It will involve converting the analogue terrestrial transmission network to digital, allowing digital television to be received via a conventional aerial as well as on other platforms.
In September 2005 the government confirmed the timetable for digital switchover. Starting in Whitehaven at the end of 2007 and the rest of the Scottish Borders in 2008, digital switchover will roll out by ITV region until the programme is completed in Northern Ireland in 2012 and the Channel Islands in 2013.
A key part of the switchover policy is to ensure that adequate advice and assistance is available to those who need to convert. In September 2005 the government announced that a Digital Switchover Help Scheme would be established with the BBC.
This Act is designed to support such a Scheme by creating legal authority for the disclosure of social security information to the BBC, certain companies controlled by the BBC or the Crown, and any person engaged by the BBC, the Secretary of State or such a company to provide services or carry out functions in connection with switchover help functions.
The original Bill was introduced in November 2006.