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The Digital Switchover Programme has been formed to co-ordinate the efforts of multiple parties towards the common goal of switchover. At its core the programme involves DCMS, Ofcom, Digital UK and the BBC, but there is considerable liaison at all levels with the many other parties involved.
The Government is responsible for the policy of digital switchover and, in September 2005 announced the 2008-12 timetable and the establishment of a Help Scheme for those who may need practical assistance with switchover. This policy decision was informed by work carried out under the Digital Television Project.
Digital UK is an independent not-for-profit organisation established by the public sector broadcasters and multiplex operators to lead the implementation of switchover. This involves co-ordinating the technical rollout of a high-power digital terrestrial television network; communicating with the public about digital switchover to ensure everyone knows what is happening, what they need to do and when; and liaising with stakeholders to ensure understanding of and support for the switchover programme.
Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the communications industry with an overall statutory duty to further the interests of citizens and consumers in communication matters. Ofcom is responsible for ensuring: competition between digital platforms; the optimal use of the radio spectrum; and that broadcasters and others comply with their licence obligations, in areas such as transmission coverage and reception.
The BBC will manage delivery of the Help Scheme and, through the licence fee, provide £200 million to fund Digital UK’s public communications campaign and £600 million to fund the Help Scheme.
In addition, the other public service broadcasters, digital platform operators, TV equipment manufacturers, transmission site owners, transmission providers, retailers, aerial installers, charities and consumer groups are all actively involved in preparations for switchover.
The switchover programme enables these parties to work together to deliver switchover as set out in the updated programme structure document.