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Scotland Completes DTV Transition

Arqiva announced it has completed the "digital switchover" (DSO) in Scotland and "all terrestrial TV is now fully digital throughout Scotland." The system consists of 14 main transmitter groups and 186 relay stations that form a complex network extending from the Western Isles to the Shetlands.

"Completing DSO in Scotland is another major milestone in the switchover program and a proud moment for Arqiva" said Peter Heslop, DSO project director at Arqiva. "Scotland in particular has presented many challenges in terms of geography and weather, but these have all been successfully overcome. U.K.-wide infrastructure projects on this scale are rare and I'm delighted to report that everything is going to plan and we're well on the way to delivering this huge project on time and within budget."

Arqiva is the transmission provider for all terrestrial TV and most radio services in the United Kingdom and it owns much of the infrastructure behind broadcast and wireless services in the that region. It also operates an international satellite broadcast and communications business. The Arqiva Website said it also has a significant presence in Ireland, mainland Europe and the United States.

Should the FCC and broadcasters transition to build-out of an LTE network for distribution of broadcast material, it may be worth looking at how Arqiva ownership and maintenance of broadcast facilities in the United Kingdom has worked for broadcasters there. An LTE broadcast infrastructure would require many more sites and sharing of transmission facilities by stations. Operation of such sites by a company such as Arqiva may be more desirable than having wireless carriers build and maintain LTE broadcast sites.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.