In November 2014 we decided to make some changes to the frequencies Digital Terrestrial Television and wireless microphones use in order to make valuable spectrum in the 700 MHz band available for mobile data.
This will deliver significant net benefits, including benefits to citizens and consumers. However, the process will also have a number of effects on DTT viewers and users of wireless microphones.
For the vast majority of viewers the only effect of the change will be that they need to retune their television – a process most people find easy. Nonetheless, a small minority will need to replace their aerials or pay for an installer to point them in a different direction. In addition, the change will mean that some people need to replace their wireless microphones.
Government is considering whether there is a case for making public funding available to support viewers and wireless microphone owners with these changes. In order to aid its thinking on this matter, it has requested advice from Ofcom on the effects the changes will have on stakeholders, the options for addressing these effects and the associated costs.
The purpose of this document is to gather information to inform this advice. The document asks for stakeholder input on a range of questions about the effect the change will have on DTT viewers and wireless microphone owners.
We would particularly welcome responses from groups that might be affected by change of use of the 700 MHz band – for example, DTT viewers, consumer groups, wireless microphones owners as well as interested industry bodies.
In addition to the questions asked in this document, we also invite PMSE stakeholders that are likely to be affected by clearance to fill in a separate financial questionnaire found here. Information submitted in this questionnaire will be treated as strictly confidential and will only be presented to Government in anonymised and aggregate form, without individual respondents being identified.
Update – 5th April
We have now published associated research into viewers' experience of television reception which can be viewed via the link below.