HC Deb 15 September 2004 vol 424 cc1591-2W
Mr. Gordon Prentice

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she expects digital terrestrial broadcasting to be available in Pendle; and if she will make a statement. [188567]

Estelle Morris

Ofcom do not hold data on Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) coverage in individual constituencies. However, according to Ofcom, DTT services are available to those constituents that receive their television signals from the Winter Hill or Pendle Forest transmitters. This includes viewers in Nelson, Barrowford, Brierfield and most of Colne.

At present around 73 per cent. of UK households can access DTT services, but the Government are committed to ensuring that at Switchover everyone who can currently get the main public service broadcasting channels in analogue form (BBC 1 and 2, ITV, Channel 4/S4C and Channel 5) can receive them on digital systems.

Much progress has been made in the discussions between the Government, Ofcom and the Public Service Broadcasters and while the broadcasters have not reached a full consensus on the optimum timetable, some—including the BBC—have suggested that 2012 may be the most appropriate date for the completion of Switchover.