Transmission group Arqiva has reportedly called on policy makers to accelerate their ruling on whether the UK's digital terrestrial platform will be granted additional capacity in order to carry high-definition television channels.
According to Broadcast magazine, Arqiva has warned Ofcom—which is currently investigating options for liberated spectrum following digital switchover under its Digital Dividend Review—that delays in deciding whether Freeview will carry HD channels could result in a £70m bill.
That's because certain transmitters in Scotland, Wales, the West Country and north-west England need to be modified for switchover this summer by Arqiva, but the work does not include preparations for HD.
Broadcast quoted Arqiva's terrestrial media chief Steve Holebrook saying a delay now could leave large areas of the UK without digital terrestrial HD until 2013. Holebrook added: "It is inconceivable that digital terrestrial TV will not support HD in the future. How can 50% of the population be denied coverage of the London Olympics in HD?"
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