First Stage of Analogue Switch-Off Confirmed

Arqiva has confirmed that the digital switchover process in Whitehaven, Cumbria, in the UK, has begun successfully and a high-power digital TV signal is now being transmitted from three relay sites.

The BBC Two analogue signal was switched off at 02:00 on Wednesday 17 October, 2007, and the digital signal for Multiplex 1, which is owned by the BBC and carries channels including BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, CBBC, BBC News 24 and BBCi, was switched on at 02:37 on Wednesday 17 October 2007.

"We are pleased to confirm that the first stage of the project for digital switchover in the UK has been a technical success", said Peter Heslop, DSO programme director at Arqiva. "The analogue signal for BBC Two was replaced with a digital multiplex containing BBC Two and a number of other BBC channels. The other analogue channels are due to switch next month. The engineering team at Arqiva is extremely proud to be involved in this moment in television history and we look forward to the progress of the Digital Switch Over plan across the UK."

"We have been working with the Government and Digital UK for a number of years on what is the most ambitious broadcast engineering project ever undertaken in the UK. It involves the replacement of 5000 analogue and 500 digital transmitter systems with a further 4000 new digital transmitter systems at 1154 sites. What we are doing at Arqiva forms a crucial part of the DSO project and will ensure that almost all of the UK will be able to receive free digital terrestrial television through a roof-top aerial."

Digital UK is the independent, non-profit organisation leading the process of digital TV switchover in the UK.