NAO: Risk of interference after French switchover

A report from the National Audit Office (NAO) has warned that television signals in southern England are at risk from interference from French DTT signals when France switches to digital in late 2011.

The report 'The BBC's Preparedness for Digital Switchover', which was commissioned by the BBC Trust claims; "On current timetables there is a risk that once France has achieved digital switchover, at present scheduled for November 2011, there may be interference with the current digital terrestrial signal in parts of southern England as a consequence of high-powered digital transmissions from France."

At present transmitters in the affected region will switch to digital-only signals in 2012. According to the report the BBC considers that changes to the switchover timetable to avoid any potential signal degradation in the south of England are unlikely, but in this event would seek compensation for its additional costs from the Government.

Many industry experts believe, however, that while there is the possibility of interference for homes in the south east of England if the French switch to digital is not in synchronism with the UK, this is a known problem and is being addressed as part of the digital switchover project. A number of solutions are possible, the most likely being agreed synchronism. Ofcom, supported by transmitter operators in the area, are addressing this in conjunction with their French counterparts and there is little doubt that a solution will be found.

DTG Staff  |  14.11.2007

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