Digital UK has today responded to Ofcom’s consultation TV White Spaces: approach to coexistence. TV White Spaces are gaps in the spectrum (airwaves) used by terrestrial television that could potentially be used by new devices for communications and services in some areas.
The joint submission, which represents the views of the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Arqiva, expresses support for the principle of developing White Space Devices and Ofcom’s plans to explore ways of making more efficient use of spectrum. If deployed effectively, this area of innovation is expected to offer significant benefits for consumers, the broadcast industry and wider stakeholders. Potential applications identified by Ofcom include wifi hotspots, rural broadband and machine-to-machine communications.
The response calls on Ofcom to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to protect terrestrial television services from interference which could be caused by the use of white spaces. Specific concerns include the impact on viewers using indoor aerials and the uncertainty caused by potential future changes in the amount of spectrum allocated to terrestrial television.
Digital UK’s full response to this consultation can be downloaded from digitaluk.co.uk/consultations
Digital UK supports Freeview viewers and channels. From 2013, the company also manages strategy and policy for digital terrestrial television (DTT) in the UK. The organisation led the successful implementation of digital TV switchover from 2008-2012 and oversaw clearance of terrestrial TV services from the 800MHz band of spectrum to prepare for the launch of 4G mobile broadband services. It also provides day-to-day technical management of the Freeview Electronic Programme Guide (EPG).