The BBC announced today that it has selected Arqiva as its preferred supplier
for a range of new digital transmission services.
Subject to agreement of final terms and other matters, the BBC hopes that it
will soon be able to sign a contract with Arqiva for the design, deployment, and
operation of a new high-powered digital terrestrial television (DTT) network for
the BBC which will come into service as part of the UK's digital switchover
This will replace both the BBC's analogue television network and the
current low-powered DTT network.
In so doing, the BBC will be able to increase the coverage of its DTT services
so that they substantially replicate the coverage of analogue television.
These transmission services will become operational during 2008 and will
continue until 2031.
Arqiva will also be responsible for building and operating additional
transmitters to expand the coverage of the BBC's DAB digital radio network.
least 10 and potentially a further 160 new transmitters will come into service
starting in 2007.
This expansion in DAB transmission will make BBC DAB services available to
listeners in a number of parts of the UK.
The exact locations of the
transmitters are still to be agreed and the BBC hopes to confirm the precise
details in due course.
The selection of Arqiva follows a rigorous procurement process conducted
throughout 2005 and early 2006.
The selection of Arqiva as the BBC's preferred
supplier has been approved by the BBC Governors.
Richard Waghorn, Controller of Distribution at the BBC, said: "This represents
one of the major steps in our preparations for digital switchover.
"It will mean
that everybody who currently receives a good analogue service will receive the
BBC's digital services through their aerial after switchover.
finalising our discussions with Arqiva, we hope soon to be able to sign a
contract with Arqiva which will also secure true value for money for the future
provision of these transmission services."
Notes to Editors
Arqiva is one of the UK's leading providers of transmission services for
broadcasters, providing transmission and distribution services to ITV, Channel 4
and Five, together with most independent radio stations.
Arqiva has more than 50
years of experience in the provision of broadcast transmission services dating
back to the start of ITV in 1955.
The company has also played a leading role in
the introduction of digital terrestrial television and radio in the UK, for
which it has built both national and local networks.
Arqiva is owned by a
consortium of investors headed by Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group.
National Grid Wireless will continue to provide the BBC with broadcast
transmission services supporting analogue television and radio; low power DTT;
and the BBC's current 90-transmitter national DAB digital radio network.
Signature of the final contract is conditional on the successful resolution of
contractual terms and will be subject to separate approval by the BBC's
Executive Board and the BBC Governors.
BBC Press Office