HC Deb 20 April 2004 vol 420 c432W
Mr. David Hamilton

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of accessibility to digital television in(a) Scotland, (b) England, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland. [165677]

Estelle Morris

[holding answer 19 Apri1 2004]: Nearly three-quarters of the UK population are currently believed to have a full range of digital terrestrial television (DTT) services potentially available. Current estimates, provided by the BBC, of the coverage of DTT services in the nations are:

  • England: 73 per cent.
  • Scotland: 82 per cent.
  • Wales: 57 per cent.
  • Northern Ireland: 58 per cent.

Digital satellite signals are potentially available to almost all UK viewers, and may offer an alternative in areas where DTT signals are not available. Cable TV services are also available to more than half the UK population (primarily in urban areas).

Full details, including maps of the extension of DTT coverage which may be possible after digital switchover by re-using analogue TV frequencies and increasing transmission powers, are available in Ofcom's report 'Driving Digital Switchover'.