BBC Trust and Ofcom working together to upgrade DTT

Date: 03.04.2008     Last updated: 23.09.2014 at 09.48
Category: BBC HD; HDTV; Television
Ofcom and the BBC Trust have announced today how they plan to work together on the process of upgrading the digital terrestrial television (DTT) platform to allow high definition (HD) services, ensuring that television viewers are informed and that services are not disrupted.

This cooperation reflects their respective responsibilities for the services offered on the DTT platform by the BBC and by other public service broadcasters.

Ofcom's role will be to:

  • Oversee the reorganisation of multiplex capacity through licence changes to be authorised by an Order from the Secretary of State of Culture, Media and Sport
  • Manage a selection process for three of the four slots available on multiplex B

The BBC Trust will:

  • Oversee the launch of the BBC's high definition channels on multiplex B
  • Oversee the reorganisation of the BBC's current services to other multiplexes

The planned upgrade will include the adoption of new transmission and compression technologies (DVB-T2 and MPEG4) which will allow DTT to offer a wider set of services, including those in HD. Jointly, Ofcom and the BBC Trust will work with broadcasters and manufacturers to ensure that television viewers remain informed and are fully supported as the DTT platform is reorganised and the multiplex is upgraded. Ofcom and the Trust will also work together to ensure that any impact on the digital switchover process is minimised. The upgrade timetable is designed to ensure that work can be completed before digital switchover in the Granada region in 2009.

Upgrading the DTT platform will bring more choice for consumers. Existing Freeview viewers should continue to receive the wide range of services that are currently available on their existing equipment. Viewers wishing to access the new services will need to buy equipment that is compatible with the new technologies, such as a new set-top-box.

Earlier today Ofcom announced its conclusions on its consultation on the Future of DTT.

The BBC Trust is announcing its interim statement on a non-service application it has received from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Five to re-arrange multiplex B. Ends

Notes to editors

  1. Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities across television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communications services.
  2. BBC Trust is the BBC's independent governing body. It works on behalf of the public, the people who own and pay for the BBC.
  3. Terrestrial television is broadcast on six multiplexes. These are distinct blocks of transmission capacity which carry services. Multiplex B is licensed to and operated by the BBC, whilst Ofcom has wider responsibilities for the regulation of DTT. It has been agreed by Ofcom and the BBC Trust that this multiplex will be cleared and the existing channels on this multiplex will be relocated to use the spare capacity on the other multiplexes. Once this is complete, multiplex B will be upgraded to use new technologies and standards.
  4. This announcement today is in respect of two separate but related decisions by Ofcom and the BBC Trust. Full details of the decisions being announced today are available in news releases from both organisations, which set out the separate regulatory responsibilities of each.
  5. For further information about Ofcom please visit: Ofcom's news releases can be found at:
  6. For further information about the BBC Trust please visit: